12 June, 2019

Hosea 14:1-2—“… turn to the Lord: say unto him … receive us graciously”

O Israel, return unto the Lord thy God; for thou hast fallen by thine iniquity. Take with you words, and turn to the Lord: say unto him, Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously: so will we render the calves of our lips (Hos. 14:1–2).

In the previous chapters of Hosea, God has been declaring final and irreversible judgment upon the nation of Israel for their constant rebellion and transgressions. Enough is enough. The end is finally coming.

Proponents of the well-meant offer and common grace, however, appeal to chapter 14, verses 1 and 2 in support for their theory of a desire of God to save the reprobate. Their take on this passage is that God, out of love, mercy, and compassion, well-meaningly offers to give these reprobates one last chance to come to Him for salvation. What a gracious opportunity His is giving them … Surely this shows that He is still kind-of-heart and favourably disposed towards them … His justice cries for their destruction, but God would rather have mercy upon them. So He, through the prophet Hosea, issues this undeserved offer of mercy and peace with these reprobates, on condition that they come to Him with words of confession and promises to amend their ways … There is still hope yet!


John Calvin

[Source: Comm. on Hosea 14:1-2, emphasis added]

Here the Prophet exhorts the Israelites to repentance, and still propounds some hope of mercy. But this may seem inconsistent, as he had already testified that there would be no remedy any more, because they had extremely provoked God. The Prophet seems in this case to contradict himself. But the solution is ready at hand, and it is this,—In speaking before of the final destruction of the people, he had respect to the whole body of the people; but now he directs his discourse to the few, who had as yet remained faithful. And this distinction, as we have reminded you in other places, ought to be carefully noticed; otherwise we shall find ourselves perplexed in many parts of Scripture.

[Note: Calvin is using a hermeneutical principle known as the “organic” concept. For more on this method of interpreting Scripture see the following:



More to come! (DV)

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