Pr Edi Giudetti
In Paul’s ongoing apologetic, his argument for the preservation of Israel in the mind of the Lord, Paul gives to us a continuation of the length to which God has gone to keep his promises concerning Israel, even to the point of explaining to us the opposing nature of an otherwise unredeemable people.
A Contradicting Relationship Restored
25 As he saith also in Osee, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved.
The book of Hosea that is referred to here, is a book that begins with Gods commandment to the prophet to take to himself a wife of whoredoms, a prostitute.
2 The beginning of the word of the LORD by Hosea. And the LORD said to Hosea, Go, take unto thee a wife of whoredoms and children of whoredoms: for the land hath committed great whoredom, departing from the LORD.Hosea 1:2
The entire book of Hosea gives to the reader and understanding both of the nature of God toward Israel, and Israel toward her God. Gods faithfulness and Israel’s adultery and idolatry.
Israel, in the book of Hosea, is likened to the nature of a prostitute, selling herself to the highest bidder, and faithful to no one. Hosea, on the other hand, is to live his life as a simile of Gods relationship to Israel, he is to Marry the prostitute.
Beloved the very act of being wed to a whore is a complete contradiction for a relationship, it’s a contradiction of the very nature of Wedlock! A relationship bound by the ties of marriage has its very purpose in faithfulness. Nothing defines the marriage covenant better than one united solely to another till death.
It is when two people become “One flesh” according to Genesis 2:24. That is Marriage!
This is the reason why the only justification given in the Bible for divorce, and given to us by the Lord himself, is adultery (Matt 5:32). And why is that? Because the offence of adultery is the exact opposite of the nature of marriage. The purpose of marriage itself becomes legally disannulled by such an act. Before the destruction of the legal covenant of marriage In Australia last year through its re-definition by majority opinion, came the atomic bomb that pulled away all the safeguards of marriage in 1975, when the
An act that would come to destroy the very nature of the family.
The radiation of that atomic bomb more than forty years ago, has so perfectly sickened families today. “No fault divorce” was the first great attack against the family and against the entire purpose of Marriage.
But God tells Hosea Go, take unto thee a wife of whoredoms and children of whoredoms: for the land hath committed great whoredom, departing from the LORD.
But Paul reminds us of Gods promise and referring to Hosea chapter 2:23, and its context in the last days (Hos 2:14-18), I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved.
This is indeed a Contradicting Relationship that is Restored. And it is restored by ONE PARTY in that relationship.
It is the love and promise of God, it is his faithfulness and his love for the nation he has chosen, that he desires to demonstrate his WORD (Scripture) CANNOT BE BROKEN (John 10:35).
Beloved there is but one party in this adulterous relationship that is faithful. There is one member in this relationship that will keep his promise to his wife, and it is not Israel!
Turn to Hosea 3:1-5 (Whole chapter)
1 Then said the LORD unto me, Go yet, love a woman beloved of her friend, yet an adulteress, according to the love of the LORD toward the children of Israel, who look to other gods, and love flagons of wine. 2 So I bought her to me for fifteen pieces of silver, and for an homer of barley, and an half homer of barley: 3 And I said unto her, Thou shalt abide for me many days; thou shalt not play the harlot, and thou shalt not be for another man: so will I also be for thee. 4 For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without teraphim: 5 Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the LORD their God, and David their king; and shall fear the LORD and his goodness in the latter days.
Notice that the context again is The Latter Days.
Notice that a price is paid for Israel.
Notice that God desires faithfulness, but notice also that she will abide without any of his benefits for a time.
Notice that she will “seek the LORD their God…and his goodness in the latter days”
Notice that a Contradicting Relationship will be Restored!
I wonder if you might think of his faithfulness compared to yours!
Think of the price God has paid for you, and measure your response to him since you have been so infinitely purchased.
Beloved, my desire is not that you would wallow in guilt of sin, but that you would know the loving faithfulness of the Lord to keep his promise to you.
Israel and Gods relationship to Israel is a witness of His relationship to you, why? He has already told you;
And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, 24 Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?
This is the extremes the Lord has gone to, in order to demonstrate his love and faithfulness to those he loves.
A Contrary Identity Redeemed
26 And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God.
Paul emphasizes that passage in Hosea by bringing out the contrary nature of their own identities.
In living like the world, they simply cannot be identified as Gods people, where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people.
Idolatry was a standard fair for Israel. Not that Israel were alone in this fornicating with other gods, they simply lived and behaved just like the rest of the world. The world trusted in the gods they made up, so Israel began to do the same.
Today, little has changed.
The world has rejected the one true God, and now hold as sacred all the gods believed by all the people, and claim that these are sacrosanct.
The God of the Bible however, is evil spoken of.
You are free to worship any god of your own making, and we tolerantly accept it as a valid form of worship irrespective of the contradictions between them all, but NOT THE GOD OF THE BIBLE.
Many who call themselves Christians today, are doing exactly the same thing that Israel did yesterday. The Identity of a multitude of people who call themselves Christian is completely contrary to the God they claim to believe. FAMOUS is the hypocrisy of nominal Christians. RENOUNED throughout the world is the contrary nature of their identification.
It is interesting to me that the secular world knows nothing about the Bible, claim to also know nothing about the God of the Bible, yet it is THEY WHO RECOGNISE THE CONTRARY IDENTITY OF nominal Christians.
Seems to me like an inbuilt conscience has given them understanding.
Christians seem to be able today to do all manner of things contrary to the God they claim to worship, but strangely think no one will notice and say with confidence ‘ye are not Gods people” as was said of Israel
They can go to parties and get as drunk as they like.
They can fornicate till their hearts content; marry one person one night, another person another night, and still claim to belong to Christ.
They revel in the revelries of the world.
They enjoy the filth of the music of the world. No discernment is to ever get in the way of the feelings they enjoy.
They enjoy the movies of the world; it seems they get used to the Lords name used in vain, and tolerate the gutter mouth language in those films as long as they can still get their minds numbed by glitz and effects. “O it had a bit of swearing, a bit of sex, a bit of blasphemy..but it was a good film”
They enjoy the pornography on their phones and computers, ignoring the ‘relationship destroying’ purpose of such filth.
They have no problems cheating on their taxes, telling “white lies”, worshipping God on Sunday and money the rest of the week.
God help them if they get the enticing double pay on the Lords day, what a dilemma! What to choose I wonder, should I work on the sabbath the Lord has commanded to keep or not? Tough one
The adultery of those who call themselves after the name of Christ knows few bounds and is ALLWAYS WITNESSED by those they are supposed to be sharing the Gospel with.
They witness to others the one they claim to be identified by, the one who IS CONTRARY TO HOW THEY ARE.
Can I ask you, how do you re-present Christ to those around you?
Small things, things that are really easy and obvious to obey, little things that ALL THE WORLD KNOWS you should not be doing, like….working on the Lords day? I’ll pick on that one, seeing it is the most obvious commandment ignored these days. Is that a Contrary Identity you are displaying? How seriously are you taken by those you witness to…at work….on a Sunday???
Beloved, I have been there. I have embarrassed myself that way, I have shamed the Lord I identify with.
But what makes something like this such a big deal is that it is such a small thing. Such an obvious thing, yet we give excuses for it time and again…but the WORLD DOES NOT ACCEPT THE EXCUSES beloved.
They know the truth, even though they are pleased you agree with them, and make them feel good about what they do.
Shall the faith you claim be taken seriously?
We cheat on our taxes…everybody does it. Yes, we take undeclared income…who’s to know? Who but the person that gave it to you, after you shared the Gospel.
“O, but its ok, I didn’t share the Gospel”…..:
Do you have a public contrary identity?
What about your private Identity, what do you do when only God and his angels are watching?
Do you demonstrate to the Lord an identity that is contrary to who you are?
We have done as the seven women of Isaiah 4:1
And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach
We think to be called by the name of the Lord in the hope our reproach is taken away.
in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God.
Paul’s argument is for Israel. And he elevates, as a perfect distinction, the Holy Faithfulness of the Lord.
there shall they be called the children of the living God.
There will be those of Israel who shall indeed be redeemed, not because of their identity, but because of WHO GOD IS.
It is the Lord that is elevated, it is he that saves, and it is his work of redeeming fallen man to himself. Lest any man should boast.
A Contrasted Population Preserved
27 Esaias also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved: 28 For he will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness: because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth.
There are two metaphors that are used in the Bible to describe both the descendants of Abraham and the descendants of King David. One of them is found here.
Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea
What is the other metaphor?
In this passage we have one of the occurrences, but there are passages in the Bible where both are employed.
The first is found in the very first occurrence of the metaphor, found in Genesis 22:15-17, it is worth turning there because the context of the passage is so pivotal to scripture.
Here the angel of the Lord, at a key point in Abrahams life, reminds Abraham of what God had promised him when he was childless.
What makes this so key is that just prior to this reminder, God had commanded Abraham to offer the very son through which the promise was to be fulfilled, as a burnt offering unto the Lord on one of the mountains of Moriah (Gen 22:1-2).
Abraham did so. He took his son, went to the place the Lord had led him to, built an altar, laid the wood upon the altar, bound his son and laid him on that same alter, took a knife and was withheld by the Lord from slaying his only son, whom he loved.
A son who faithfully obeyed his father, even unto death.
(The picture we usually have of Isaac is of a young boy, but estimates are that he was in his late twenties or early thirties at the time. He could easily have denied his ageing father the opportunity to slay him. So much more could be compared and spoken of in this passage)
Nevertheless, because of Abrahams faithfulness, v 15;
And the angel of the LORD called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time, 16 And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: 17 That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies;Genesis 13:15-17
Stars in heaven for number, sand on the sea shore for number. And Genesis 13:16, before he had a single descendant, the metaphor used for the number of his seed is as the ‘dust of the earth’.
We spoke already that Abraham would be the “Father of many”, and we do not have a clue as to how literal this expression is.
Paul quotes Isaiah in this passage, but when Isaiah referred to the number of the sand of the sea, he was not referring to “All” the children of Abraham, he was referring only to the children of the promise, Israel.
Turn to Isaiah chapter 10:20 as we consider a Contrasted Population Preserved.
20 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the remnant of Israel, and such as are escaped of the house of Jacob, shall no more again stay upon him that smote them; but shall stay upon the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, in truth. 21 The remnant shall return, even the remnant of Jacob, unto the mighty God. 22 For though thy people Israel be as the sand of the sea, yet a remnant of them shall return: the consumption decreed shall overflow with righteousness. 23 For the Lord GOD of hosts shall make a consumption, even determined, in the midst of all the land.Isaiah 10:20-23
The context seems also to indicate the last days and fits well to the reason why Paul quotes it in the New Testament days, referring to it as yet future.
Certainly, the northern kingdom of Israel was taken into captivity by the Assyrian empire later in Isaiah’s life, and the southern kingdom were taken away from the land by the Babylonian empire more than one hundred years after Isaiah’s death.
We also have an account in the Bible as to the small remnant that did return to Jerusalem, and this would potentially have us think this passage in Isaiah refers to it, but then why does Paul use this as proof of the preservation of this contrasted people.
Note, the contrast relates to the distinction between the innumerable numbers of the populations (Stars of heaven and sand of the sea).
Yet Jeremiah, interestingly uses the same phrase, indeed both metaphors are relayed by him. It’s interesting because, even though the Northern tribe were already gone, it was the Southern tribe that would be taken away during his lifetime.
The other reason it is of great interest is because of his statement as to their number, Turn to Jeremiah 33:22
As the host of heaven cannot be numbered, neither the sand of the sea measured: so will I multiply the seed of David my servant, and the Levites that minister unto me.
Now turn forward to Lamentations 1:1 as we read this same prophets lament over what has transpired. One imagines Jeremiah sitting upon the steps of the temple area, beholding the empty city before him.
How doth the city sit solitary, that was full of people! how is she become as a widow! she that was great among the nations, and princess among the provinces, how is she become tributary!
Gone are now both houses of the nation. Innumerable people is not at this time.
Yet the prophecy stands sure to come!
Paul speaks to a remnant
Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved:
We look at the world around us today and it is difficult not to be witnessing limited timeframe ahead of us.
There was a time when there was the general feeling of optimism among most people. People generally did feel that things we getting better. Things were on the improve especially between peoples around us.
I think the ground zero (pardon the pun) of a change in that general perception, was in 2001 when two tremendous buildings were hit by planes and tumbled to the ground.
Those of us at the time remember the feeling well, instinct seemed to tell us the comfort of a normal life of peace was to change forever.
Paul concludes the verse saying, 28 For he will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness: because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth.
Jesus, speaking of the time just prior to his coming said, For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened. (Matt 24:21).
Compared to all of history, in those days, a short work will the Lord make upon the earth.
Nevertheless, a remnant shall be saved.
A Countered End Unmerited
29 And as Esaias said before, Except the Lord of Sabaoth had left us a seed, we had been as Sodoma, and been made like unto Gomorrha.
So far we have seen nothing but dramatic distinctions noted in this passage, all of which demonstrate nothing about the inherent goodness of man, on the contrary, it demonstrates the incredible riches of the Glory of God.
It puts to bed the question “is there unrighteousness with God?”. It does so through a diatribe demonstrating;
- The restoration of a contradicting relationship. To call as his people, those who were NOT his people.
- The contrary identity is redeemed. Again, where it was said these are not Gods people, these shall be called “the children of the living God”;
- That a contrasted population is preserved, to go from being a people claimed in number likened to the sand of the sea, to but a remnants and yet still the promise stands.
These are three incredible distinctions in the account given by Paul so far, each of which demonstrate an unmerited favor given to Israel.
But now, in this last verse we have the greatest distinction of all, and one that we gentiles saved by the blood of Christ, do well to pay attention to;
Except the Lord of Sabaoth had left us a seed, we had been as Sodoma, and been made like unto Gomorrha.
There was little that the nation of Israel did that was faithful to the Lord from the begining.
In Moses final words to the nation of Israel, after delivering them from 400 years of slavery in the hands of the Egyptians (and delivering them by a mighty hand), the Lord had gone before them as a pillar of smoke by day, and a pillar of fire by night. he led them directly to the land he promised to give them, but they would not trust him to enter.
So he led them 40 years in the wilderness, now all those who were over 20 years of age when they came out of Egypt, had fallen and died during those years, and their children stood to hear Moses words.
Deuteronomy 9:24 sums up Moses understanding of Israel well;
Ye have been rebellious against the LORD from the day that I knew you.
Turn to Psalm 78
I cannot summarize anywhere near as well as the scriptures do to give to you a scope of understanding of the ungrateful and stubborn nature of these Children of God, for all the Lord had done for them.
How in very deed, Except the Lord of Sabaoth had left us a seed, we had been as Sodoma, and been made like unto Gomorrha.
We will not read all the Psalm, but we will read a worthy portion.
The beginning of it lays down the purpose of the writing from verse 1 to 8, then we will consider the contrast between God and those he saved, and we will do so lest we ever get in our minds the thought that God is unrighteous compared to ourselves.
1 Give ear, O my people, to my law: incline your ears to the words of my mouth. 2 I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old: 3 Which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us. 4 We will not hide them from their children, shewing to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he hath done. 5 For he established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children: 6 That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children: 7 That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments: 8 And might not be as their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation; a generation that set not their heart aright, and whose spirit was not stedfast with God.Psalm 78:1-8
So that is the purpose of the writing here, that men might set their hope in God, and he does so by doing as Paul has done, showing the complete contrast over what was deserved and what was actually given.
12 Marvellous things did he in the sight of their fathers, in the land of Egypt, in the field of Zoan. 13 He divided the sea, and caused them to pass through; and he made the waters to stand as an heap. 14 In the daytime also he led them with a cloud, and all the night with a light of fire. 15 He clave the rocks in the wilderness, and gave them drink as out of the great depths. 16 He brought streams also out of the rock, and caused waters to run down like rivers. 17 And they sinned yet more against him by provoking the most High in the wilderness. 18 And they tempted God in their heart by asking meat for their lust. 19 Yea, they spake against God; they said, Can God furnish a table in the wilderness? 20 Behold, he smote the rock, that the waters gushed out, and the streams overflowed; can he give bread also? can he provide flesh for his people? 21Therefore the LORD heard this, and was wroth: so a fire was kindled against Jacob, and anger also came up against Israel; 22 Because they believed not in God, and trusted not in his salvation: 23 Though he had commanded the clouds from above, and opened the doors of heaven, 24 And had rained down manna upon them to eat, and had given them of the corn of heaven. 25 Man did eat angels’ food: he sent them meat to the full. 26 He caused an east wind to blow in the heaven: and by his power he brought in the south wind. 27 He rained flesh also upon them as dust, and feathered fowls like as the sand of the sea: 28 And he let it fall in the midst of their camp, round about their habitations. 29 So they did eat, and were well filled: for he gave them their own desire; 30 They were not estranged from their lust. But while their meat was yet in their mouths, 31 The wrath of God came upon them, and slew the fattest of them, and smote down the chosen men of Israel. 32 For all this they sinned still, and believed not for his wondrous works.Psalm 78:12-32
There are times when things don’t go exactly our way in life and we foolishly charge God with blame.
Times when we are hit with difficulty,
- We don’t get the job we prayed for
- We don’t get the relationship we prayed for
- We don’t get the outcome of an event we prayed for
- We lose our job, our home, our rebellious child,
- We suffer sickness right at the time we needed to be well
We suffer less than Job, but unlike Job, we charge God foolishly!
We forget what we deserve… Except the Lord of Sabaoth had left us a seed, we had been as
This is a countered end, it is unmerited.
Eternal life is counter to what we deserve, it is the exact opposite to what we have stored up against God.
Romans 2 reminds that we “stored up wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of righteous judgement of God” thank is the bank account to which we stored our sinful savings.
The Bible says we shall give an account for every idle word;
Unlike us, God forgets nothing and without his favor we had been as Sodoma, and been made like unto Gomorrha.
Fire and brimstone landed upon these cities and utterly destroyed them. Their remnants remain to this very day as towers of solid ash near the shallow waters of Al-Lisan, a former peninsula near the dead sea. It is an astounding monument discovered by Ron Wyatt in the early 1980’s.
Tours can be taken in the area where you are instructed to shake the ash off your shoes before getting back on the bus.
Think of the lies you have deliberately told in your lifetime.
Think of the evil you have dreamed in your minds against others, think of the times you still do it.
Think of the jealousy that fuels your dislike or hatred of someone.
Think of your own pride, think of how much you despise being told off for your error.
Boastful, proud, puffing your righteousness up, all the while charging God with unrighteousness.
Beloved, that is what began this discourse of Paul. “What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God?”
Our answer is as Paul gave us, “GOD FORBID”.
Above everything else, we should be grateful.
He died for us while we were yet sinners, he gave his life that we might gain life everlastings, even while we sinned before him.
This is unmerited, it is undeserved favour, it is forgiveness of sin and we have done nothing good to earn it. It is his love poured out through his Son and evident in the cross.
The greatest symbol of love that can ever be witnessed by man, is the cross
The greatest symbol of Gods righteousness ever witnessed by man, is the cross
The greatest symbol of what we had truly deserved for our sin, is the cross.
Except the Lord of Sabaoth had left us a seed, we had been as Sodoma, and been made like unto Gomorrha.
Israel rejoiced that they were mercifully spared the utter destruction they deserved.
We should daily rejoice being spared the end to which God’s judgment would rightly be poured out.
Pardon, amnesty, reprieve, exoneration, clemency, forginess.
All of these are synonyms but not one of them comes close to Grace.
“I will call them my people, which were not my people”
This is GRACE.