Friday, September 7, 2018



"When Jehovah spoke at the first by Hosea, Jehovah said unto Hosea . . ." Hosea 1:2

These words are important, and must be rightly interpreted if we are to understand their significance. I think we are helped by adopting Ewald's rendering, "At the first; when Jehovah spoke with Hosea." The word with” is unquestionably preferable to by”. The reference is not to a message which Jehovah delivered through His servant; but to something which He spoke in COMMUNION with him. Again, the phrase at the first is important, as showing us that when this was written, the writer was looking back, and interpreting events in the light of the experience which those events produced. In these first three chapters we have an account of the TRAGEDY which came to Hosea in his domestic life; of how through it all he lived in COMMUNION with God; and of how through that TRAGEDY AND THAT COMMUNION he was brought to a new understanding of the SIN OF ISRAEL as it was felt by Jehovah Himself. In this chapter the TRAGEDY itself does not appear, except as it is referred to in these opening sentences. Hosea was married to Gomer, and children were born; and as they came, they were named in such a way as to show the prophet's sense of the NATIONAL OUTLOOK. There is no reason to think that Gomer had fallen into sin before marriage, nor in the early days of marriage. Hosea did not know that she was capable of infidelity. But God did, and He permitted His servant to pass through the suffering that he might understand the Divine heart. And the whole story proves how well worth while it was, for at last even Gomer was RESTORED, as we shall see. How constantly the backward look reveals Divine guidance where it seemed most unlikely.

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