The New Covenant
In Hosea 2:18, we find the first use of the expression “Covenant,” as it applies to the “New Covenant.” This is actually New Covenant will be with Gentiles, “I will make a Covenant with the beasts of the field.” The Old Covenant, with the Israelites, began when Christ, the Angel of the Lord, led them out of Egypt, “I will never break My Covenant with you,” (Judges 2:1).
see ending of Chapter 1.
Nor am I her husband – meaning that Israel does not make God husband, she does not love God. But she will love God, in the New Covenant, as we will see in vs. 16.
I will not have mercy on her children – Israel will be punished for her harlotry. The northern Kingdom will be destroyed.
She will seek them, but not find them – She will realize the emptiness of her harlotry.
I gave her grain, new wine and oil – which shall represent true communion with God, in the New Covenant, in verse 22.
I will cause her mirth to cease…her feast days, her new moons, her sabbaths – God is going to end the relationship with His people, that is based on the “basic principles of this world” – Colossians 2:8,16; Galatians 4:9, John 4:21, etc. We do not worship God only in a particular place, or on a particular day, our entire life is devoted to God. In every place, and at every time, we are seeking to bring Him glory. Of course, this does not end God’s commandment to rest on the Sabbath Day, as has been interpreted by some. It is still God’s will for us to rest in unity with Him, and one another, according to His commandment.
but Me she forgot – God desires to have true intimacy with His people.
I will speak comfort to her – to bring into the wilderness, away from the celebrations, into a relationship with God in the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of God Himself will be the promised comforter.
She shall sing as in the days of her youth – with the true intimacy with God.
no longer call me “My Master” – meaning “Lord” as in Jeremiah 23:27: “their fathers forgot My Name for Baal (Lord).” God will no longer be the Master. Christ, will be the Master, and God’s people will love God as a husband.
For I will take from her mouth – God will remove the idolatry of Israel.
I will make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field – the New Covenant will also include the Gentiles. The “beasts” brings us to Peter’s dream, in Acts 10:12, where God showed Peter that the Gentiles would become a part of the Church: “In it were all kinds of four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, creeping things, and birds of the air.”
bow and sword of battle I will shatter from the earth – some think that Christianity did not end the sword of battle. But, we must remember that since the 4th Century, the Gentiles have not embraced the teachings of the New Covenant. They have been worshipping the beast and his image – the image of a lion, a leopard and a bear. They have been deceived by a mystery harlot. In Isaiah 2:2-4, we learn that the New Covenant will be re-established in the last days, and peace will reign, “in the latter days the mountain of the LORD’s house shall be established on top of the mountains…they shall beat their swords into plowshares.”
I will betroth you to me forever – as we read also in Ezekiel 37:25. In the end days, Israel shall never depart from God.
shall answer with grain, new wine, and oil – the symbols of the communion with God in the New Covenant: the oil of the Spirit; and bread and wine, as the body and blood of Christ.
they shall answer Jezreel – meaning God sows or scatters. Here, we can also see the removing of idolatry from the New Covenant Church which is “scattered” by it’s harlotry with pagan religion. But the Gospel of Christ, of the grain, new wine, and oil shall bring unity.
I will sow…have mercy…you are My people – the exact opposite meaning to the three names of Hosea’s children (Jezreel – Sows; Lo-Ruhamah – No Mercy; and Lo-Amni – Not My People). God will bring restoration. This repeats the hope that was first expressed in Hosea 2:1.
You are My people – this is the prophecy of the inclusion of the Gentiles in the New Covenant, as Paul mentions in Romans 9:24-26.