Rebellion and Promises

The Lord chose the Children of Israel and viewed His responsibilities toward them as those of a husband, someone who provides for and watches over his family. This is expressed in the Ten Commandments and other statements by the Lord at Mount Sinai, which are in effect a marriage contract between the Lord and Israel.

This did not begin well, for while Moses was on the mountain receiving the contract, the bride was committing spiritual adultery with the Golden Calf. Later, the Lord used the Prophet Hosea to illustrate God’s relationship with Israel. Hosea was instructed to marry an adulteress. There is even a question as to whether some of the children she bore were fathered by Hosea.

Pastor Brian Lowman has been preaching from the Prophet Hosea, and has presented some interesting insights. In chapter two of Hosea the Lord states how He will punish the adulteress. But He is really speaking of Israel, not Gomer the wife of Hosea. Brother Lowman pointed out that the Lord made thirteen statements beginning with “I will”, but also made eight promises.

Brother Chuck Missler pointed out that numbers in Scripture do not have special value, but they are used consistently throughout the Bible. Upon reflection, I recognized the significance of the thirteen punishments and eight promises.

The number “8” marks new beginnings. A great example is Noah’s family of eight, who began the human race again after the Flood (Genesis 9). The number “13” is the number of rebellion. In the list of the sons and grandsons of Ham (Genesis 10), Nimrod is the thirteenth. Nimrod rebelled against the Lord by creating the first kingdom in rebellion against the family/patriarchal system intended by the Lord.

The Lord made thirteen statements of punishment beginning with “I will” against the unfaithful wife. These statement were actually prophecies against Israel for their unfaithfulness and rebellion.

But then the Lord made eight promises of blessing to His “wife”, Israel. These promises indicate a new beginning in the relation between the Lord and Israel.

I believe the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (or Israel) have been in the “wilderness” since the Babylonian Captivity. The defeat by Babylon was due to their unfaithfulness. Even after their return to the Land of Israel they seldom were independent, but were ruled by another nation. Certainly, they have been in the “wilderness” since the expulsion from the Promised Land by Rome in 135 A.D.

Even today, Israel is a secular state and though blessed, is not blessed in the manner prophesied and promised in the Bible. But the day is coming when the Lord will speak soothingly to Israel (Hosea 2:14) and fulfill the eight promises He made, and much more. I believe this will be in the Millennial Kingdom of the Lord Jesus. I look forward to that day!

Praise the Lord for the promises He and the Lord Jesus made to we who are not Israelites, and yet are grafted in (Romans 11:17). Praise the Lord for the Salvation He offers. I pray all peoples would see the Light, see Jesus and ask for that wonderful Salvation. May His name be praised forever!

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