Summary: Continuation of the study of the Book of Romans
Book of Romans
By Rev. James May
For a very long time; some say between 70 and 90 years, the Prophet Hosea preached in Israel. He continually warned Israel of God’s patience wearing thin and that judgment against the nation was imminent. Hosea’s ministry lasted through the reign of several of the kings of both the northern and southern kingdoms including Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah who were the kings of Judah, and Jeroboam the son of Joash who was king of Israel.
God’s longsuffering and patience in trying to turn Israel from her idolatry is very evident, yet there came that day when God decided that enough was enough.
The story of Hosea is amazing. Here was a righteous man, a godly man; a prophet of God who was instructed to go and marry a prostitute and to have children by her. The children that would be born of this marriage to an unfaithful wife would be given names that would show exactly what God was thinking of in his dealings with Israel and Judah. The unfaithfulness and spiritual adultery of the Jews would be clearly revealed in the relationship of Hosea and Gomer.
The firstborn to Hosea and Gomer was a son named Jezreel, which means “Seed of God” or “God will sow”, or “God will scatter”. Through Jezreel the seed of the Jews would be scattered among the nations as God’s judgment against Israel began to fall.
The second child born to Hosea was a girl that was given the named Loruhamah, which means. "she hath not obtained mercy". This was the second step in God’s judgments coming upon the northern kingdom of Israel. First they would be scattered and slaughtered by their enemies. Then they would not have God’s mercy any longer. In his righteous judgment, mercy would be withdrawn as the Israel faced destruction.
At the same time, mercy would be extended to the southern kingdom of Judah and God would spare them a little while longer.
Hosea and Gomer would have a third child, another son whose name would be Loammi, which means “Ye are not my people”.
How far had Israel fallen! God had chosen them to be his people above every nation on earth. He had bestowed upon the Jews blessings and privileges like no other people. But the Jews did not behave toward God like they were supposed to. They didn’t keep their eyes on God. They refused to obey his law. And most of all, they refused to be faithful in serving and worshipping him. Instead they made images of golden calves and worshipped the idols of Baal and other gods. These outlaw Jews, who continually rejected God and embraced idolatry did not deserve to be called by his name, therefore God rejected them and disowned them.
Yet the day would come when God’s mercy would once again shine upon Israel and the Jews would again be called the people of God. In these last days, both Israel and Judah will take to themselves just One King. They will finally be reunited as one nation under the Lordship of Jesus Christ their Messiah and the whole world will know that they are yet called the People of God and God will fight for them again.
Now in Romans, Paul is still talking about the plight of the Jews, and their being cast away and rejected because of their unbelief and idolatry; and also of their reconciliation back to God.
Romans 11:15 For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?
Through that great dispersal and rejection of the Jews, the gospel was sent to the Gentiles. Israel and Judah were cast away, scattered by god; and through their judgment we obtained the blessing.
Now Paul says that God would once again call Israel to himself. The Jews will be accepted back and received because of their repentance for sin and acceptance of Jesus Christ as their Messiah. This whole scenario is compared to the resurrection of a dead nation! Israel would be as a dead people, raised to new life!
Romans 11:16 For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches.
What is this term “firstfruit” referring to? In that great day when the Lord is finally revealed in Israel as their true Messiah, many of the Jews will turn to Jesus in repentance and become the firstfruits of a resurrected nation. They will be the first of the converted Jews under the preaching of the gospel. The firstfruits of any ministry are the converts who first came to Jesus at the beginning of the ministry.