G-d’s character is directly related to His activity, His work, His purposes and His plan. The more we understand the character of G-d the more we are going to understand how He behaves in this world. This is important. It is when we understand G-d’s purposes, how and why He moves in this world, that we can respond faithfully to Him – demonstrate obedience and live lives that are pleasing to Him, manifesting His glory.
v24: Us: Referring to believers – Jew and Gentile believers.
- Called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles: This should not surprise us. When G-d revealed His redemptive covenant to Abraham it was His desire and purpose to bless all the families in the earth – not only the Jewish people (Gen 12:3).
v25: Note: When Paul wrote something, having been inspired by the Holy Spirit, he frequently quoted from the Hebrew Bible, or Old Testament. He did this as a way of verifying or providing evidence that what he was revealing was not something new, something different or something in conflict with what was taught by the law and the prophets. On the contrary, Paul was in absolute agreement with what the prophets had revealed and taught.
- He: Referring to G-d.
- I call them My people who were not My people: Through Hosea (Hosea 2:23), G-d revealed His purpose for the nations, the Gentiles. It was not a surprise to the people when G-d spoke good things in regard to the Jewish people, His covenant people. But many people would have been surprised that G-d also purposed to and wanted to bless the nations. This verse in Hosea foreshadows G-d’s redemptive family – His new covenant people.
v26: Note: This is quoted from Hosea 1:10 and is now speaking about the Jewish people. When Paul writes he has a tendency to lay down something which is a foreshadowing of what we should expect. Later on in his epistle he gives us greater revelation about what he has said previously. In this verse we should anticipate that there is a day coming when the world will understand that those who were cast off for a period of time (ie the Jewish people) are going to be brought back into the family of G-d. This is a sure expectation that we can have. Israel (the remnant of the Jewish people) is going to be brought into the new covenant relationship. They are going to experience salvation and have a Kingdom hope and future.
- It shall come to pass: This shows prophetic truth yet future.
- You are not My people: G-d called Israel not His people because of their disobedience to Him.
- Called sons of the Living G-d: They are going to again be a part of G-d’s redemptive family. Heirs of His promises.
v27: Isaiah: A different prophet with the same message.
- Israel: The Jewish people.
- Though the number…: Quoted from Isaiah 10:22
- As the sand of the sea: This is a large number of Jewish people.
- The remnant: A small portion. This remnant is a specific group and number of people. They are not established by chance, but by G-d’s design.
- Will be saved: Written in the passive. This salvation doesn’t happen because of something that they achieved or did. This salvation is done for them.
v28: Note: Quoted from Isaiah 10:23
- Work: Literally ‘word’. Referring to the purpose or plan of G-d. G-d is going to cause His plan to be accomplished, to come to an end, to be finished.
- Cut it short: G-d Himself will do the redemptive work and He is going to do it quickly, swiftly.
- In righteousness: G-d is going to complete His word quickly and it is going to be completed in a righteous way.
v29: Except the L-rd of Sabaoth (hosts)…: Quoted from Isaiah 1:9
- L-rd of (hosts): This term speaks about G-d being omnipotent, all powerful. He is the One who commands the Heavenly armies. These armies can do whatever G-d commands them to do – they are without limitation. When this term appears in the Scripture it reminds and reassures us that what G-d has said He will do will get done.
- Left us a seed: We need to understand this in two ways: One way of understanding it is that there is going to be a remnant (seed) in Israel, but another way to understand it is that this seed is Messiah Himself. There is a relationship between the redemptive people of G-d (those Kingdom people) and the Redeemer Himself –Messiah Yeshua. It is through the work of the seed of Abraham – Messiah – that a remnant (Abraham’s seed by faith) will be saved and blessed in order to be a blessing to the whole world.
- We would have become like Sodom….: If G-d didn’t complete His work swiftly, in its proper time, and for the purpose of righteousness then the result would have been comparable to Sodom and Gomorrah. Without G-d’s activity, through Messiah, humanity, including Israel, would have been like Sodom and Gomorrah – judged and eternally destroyed.