Love Divine and Unfailing, The Gospel According to Hosea (Gospel According to the Old Testament) Paperback – 7 Nov 2012
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"One of the most urgent needs of the church is to grasp how the many parts of the Bible fit together to make one 'story line' that culminates in Jesus Christ.... This series of books goes a long way to meeting that need. Written at a thoughtful but popular level, it deserves wide circulation." -- D. A. Carson
"At last a series on the Old Testament designed to provide reliable exposition, biblical theology, and a focus on Christ. These books should be like manna in the desert to pastors, preachers, teachers, and many individual Christians who struggle to come to terms with how to read the Old Testament." -- Sinclair Ferguson
About the Author
is vice president for academic affairs and professor of Old Testament at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Hosea was thoroughly acquainted with God's position on infidelity, and the Lord's decision to share it with him experientially could not have been unprompted. Michael Barrett prudently instructs, 'Nevertheless, it remains an important step in the interpretation of a particular prophet to take the historical clues and factor them into his message.' p 21 This Hosea did handsomely in 4:1 "There is no hesed (covenant loyalty), no love, no acknowledgment of God in the land." Barrett confides his confidence in Hosea's 'focus on the covenant'. Hosea's contemporaries had failed precisely where Hosea had succeeded, to appreciate the seriousness of a breach of covenant. Barrett argues that as the covenant bears witness ultimately to Christ, their actions be seen in a more serious light, which shapes into a theological argument for enforcing covenant sanction.
'Unfaithfulness and disloyalty jeopardize the union.' p 67
In 'A Marriage Portrait' the concept of analogy is put on view as a cautionary tale by its Author. We, as observers, are set as the goal of interpretation 'to determine the resemblance or point of correspondence between the analogy and the truth, the symbol and the reality.' p 60 Another caveat by Vos shows his enduring exegetical skill: 'The bond of marriage, as conceived by Hosea, was established through a spiritual process. God, after having created Israel, sought and cultivated her affection. Now this same idealization also appears in regard to the mutual exclusiveness of the covenant attachment.' Grace & Glory pp. 20-21 As in the NT marriage is metaphorical for Christ and His church, in the OT marriage was a tangible symbol of Israel's exclusive attachment to Yahweh. None more so poignant than Hosea's belabored marriage to Gomer. And Gomer did to Hosea what Israel did to God.
'She had the world in her heart.' p 81
Hosea's taking Gomer back 'symbolizes God's forgiving and unfailing love for His sinning people.' p 85 As amazing as Hosea's love was for Gomer, it pales in comparison to God's love for Israel. And even if they were not willing to acknowledge this to be true, an unrepentant Israel was in need of deliverance from spiritual adultery, or they would soon be delivered up to the Assyrians. Especially in Hosea 8 the false security of Israel becomes overtly apparent. In v 1 God warns He is going to destroy Israel. They respond in v 2 by saying, "My Lord, we are Israel, your covenant people! We know you! You cannot do that!" In v 3 God's response is that they have rejected "the good", with reference to "my covenant" and "my law" in v 1. In v 4 God says they cut themselves off (a reflexive Niphal) by their idolatry. In verse 5 God provides the reasoning for how they have brought destruction upon themselves: it is the idolatrous calf in their own midst which they have fashioned with their own hands that will be the cause of them being destroyed! The Northern Kingdom's faithlessness would soon serve as a witness to the nations as God's unconcealed punitive 'recompense' (9:7) followed.