Yet the number of the children of Israel will be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered. And in the place where it was said to them, “You are not My people,” there it will be said to them, “You are the children of the living God.” Then will the Judahites and the children of Israel be gathered together, and appoint themselves one head, and they will come up out of the land, for great will be the day of Jezreel.Hosea 1:10–11 — Modern English Version (Thinline Edition.; Lake Mary, FL: Passio, 2014)
The things that are hidden just below the surface reading of the text are amazing. In reading tonight there were many things to see. This one stands out.
The prophet Hosea took a wife by the command of God. Not just any wife, but he was told to take a wife of harlotry. In the entire account of Hosea, there is much to learn about relationships with people and to forgive them their foibles as we have our own, too. Most importantly, the book shows us God’s love for His people.
The union of Hosea and Gomer produced children. The first born was Ammi meaning my people. The second was Lo-Ruhamah meaning not pitied. The third was Lo-Ammi meaning not my people. Already one can perceive a story is written in the meanings of the names. It is in this account of the third which leads to the discovery at hand.
Here is God saying to those who are His people that you aren’t pitied and are not His people. Those who aren’t His people are to be His people. The overt meaning is that Gentiles would be called His people. This is the mystery hidden in the text. Part of which Paul wrote of about a body that consisted of Gentiles being called His people.
Being the people of God isn’t a birthright thing. This is part of what kept Israelites from believing Jesus when He came to them. They thought they had a physical birthright to the Father. And they did. But that alone didn’t make them His people.
Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly I say to you, unless a man is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”John 3:3 — Modern English Version (Thinline Edition.; Lake Mary, FL: Passio, 2014)
This is God saying that any person could be His people.
Then… That word then imposes itself in the text. This adds a timey-wimey element to the discussion. In this case after when those “not His people” become His people something else happens. That something else is what we are eyewitnesses of today.
Of course, the translation I used says the Judahites and the children of Israel will come up out of the land… But is better understood that the whole of Israelites will be gathered together as one in the land.
Oh, I know there was a previous regathering of Israelis from the diaspora but that was limited to Judah and part of another tribe as they returned from Babylon. Throughout the prophets, there is a second exile that isn’t quite explained as a second exile. Maybe it was a continuation of the first. But the twelve tribes have not been regathered into the land until recent times.