31 July, 2019

Hosea 1:2; 2:8—“I gave her corn, and wine, and oil, and multiplied her silver and gold …”

And the Lord said to Hosea, Go, take unto thee a wife of whoredoms and children of whoredoms … For she did not know that I gave her corn, and wine, and oil, and multiplied her silver and gold … (Hos. 1:2; 2:8)

The argument from this text to prove a “common mercy of God in the covenant of grace” is as follows:

“The Lord married Israel to Himself by covenant, though much of Israel whored after other lovers and proved herself to be reprobate, as the book of Hosea describes.  Yet, during all this time, God showered and blessed His unbelieving people with His gracious covenant mercies.”


The erroneous interpretation of that text (Hosea 2:8) which would find there God bestowing gracious covenant mercies upon unbelieving Israel, partakes of either one of two errors:

(1) It either looks at God’s grace or mercy in the things He gives—something powerfully refuted in Psalm 73, or

(2) It fails to understand that “not all are Israel which are of Israel” (Romans 9:6), and therefore the good gifts which God bestows upon people (including in the outward manifestation of Israel, His church) are given either for their salvation or damnation.  In the opening verses of Romans 9, e.g., the apostle points out the greater condemnation for those who have rejected the gospel, even after having been brought into such intimate connection with those precious gifts of God.  A very similar teaching is seen in the opening verses of Hebrews 6.  You might also consider the last verses of II Corinthians 2, where the same gospel proclamation is “the sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish.” “To the one we are the savour of life unto life,” says the apostle.  But that same gospel is the “savour of death unto death” in those who perish.

To speak of a “mercy” or “grace” of God that does not save, but works greater condemnation, is a most peculiar conception of “mercy” or “grace.” (SK, 31/07/2019)



More to come! (DV)

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