The prophets formed a vital bridge in God’s unfolding revelation, being the link between the giving of the Law and the coming of the Messiah. These men received direct words from the LORD and communicated those words to the people. Their calling was a lonely and a hard calling, because their message was often harsh. The prophet was a prosecutor of the people, declaring to them their sin and rebellion against the living God, and warning them to find refuge from the coming day of the LORD when God’s wrath would be poured out on all the earth.
But the prophets also foretold and foreshadowed the advents of the Messiah and told of the glorious kingdom of God that would come at the end of the age. For those who trusted in the Messiah and worshipped Him, there would be a reward beyond comprehension in heaven forever.
Hosea was one of the minor prophets and in the second chapter of his prophecy, he tells us of the day when all God’s people will be betrothed to the LORD and will know the LORD. My exposition of Hosea 2:19-20 follows below.
The blessings of this amazing prophecy (Hosea 2:16-20) reach their crescendo in verses 19-20 as the LORD’s promises to His people include His betrothal to them. The LORD declares that He “will betroth you (His people) to Me forever (2:19).” Note that, while in our modern American culture, betrothal is equivalent to engagement and nothing more, in the ancient Hebrew context, betrothal was synonymous with marriage. For the Hebrew, an offer of betrothal was a commitment of marriage that could only be nullified if there was gross immorality. Therefore, betrothal assumes marriage.
What we see, then, is that the LORD as the Bridegroom is making a commitment of marriage, of forever union, with His people that will fully come into effect “in that day.” The glorious Bridegroom has chosen His Bride and He desires to be with her forever. The wedding day is certain to occur, for the LORD is perfect in faithfulness and He has promised. We, as the Bride, can then have a sure hope that one day soon, “in that day,” the LORD will take us to His house to be with Him forever.
The LORD seals His offer of betrothal with five of His perfect attributes. He says, “I will betroth you to Me:
In righteousness (2:19)
In justice (2:19)
In steadfast love (hesed) (2:19)
In mercy (compassion) (2:19)
In faithfulness (2:20).”
The LORD is our perfect Husband (2:16). He always does what is right and morally pure. His decisions and judgments are always correct and are not tainted by any partiality. His love (hesed) for His bride is at once unchanging and unmerited. His love is given to those infinitely inferior to Him by His own sovereign grace. Our Husband deals with is with infinite mercy, fully knowing our misery and wretchedness and yet acting for us to deliver us and to save us. And He is always faithful. He always acts in perfect harmony with His Word. He always does what He says He will do. His promises are sure. His truth is steadfast. He never fails.
Do not miss the concluding sentence, for this is the most precious of all the blessings: “And you shall know the LORD.” To know the LORD, the great One, the Holy One, is almost beyond our ability to imagine. How can it be that a sinful worm, dead in sins, conceived in iniquity, with a deceitful heart and desperately wicked, a child of wrath, wallowing in the pigsty in the far country, lame in both feet and hiding out in Lo-debar; how can it be that such a one could be betrothed to the King of kings and could be brought to the wedding feast as the King’s cherished Bride so that I could know the Lord forever? Yet this is the promise we have in Christ, that “in that day” there will certainly be a marriage supper and we shall be with the LORD forever.
And so Hosea writes of that day that was for him more than two-and-a-half millennia in the future, and he writes down the word of the LORD revealed to him so that we believers can read of our future and can look forward with hope to the arrival of our soon-coming Bridegroom.
SDG rmb 5/18/2020
For the exposition of the full passage of Hosea 2:16-20, you can follow the link below.