The Need for a Savior
John D. Telgren

"And the Lord said, "Name him Lo-ammi, for you are not My people and I am not your God (Hos 1:9)."

This is one of the most awful verses in the Bible, especially in Hebrew.  I know of no translation that translates the second half of this verse correctly.  Here is my literal, wooden translation:

"For you not my people and I not I am to/for/concerning you."

In Hebrew the second part of this sentence is - "I not 'ehyeh to you."  Is this significant?  Yes.  When Moses asked God for his name, God said, "I AM who I AM." (which is 'ehyeh asher 'ehyeh in Hebrew).  Then he said "Tell them I AM ('ehyeh) has sent me to you (Exod 3:14)."  God used the same word to assure Moses in Exod 3:12 - "I am ('ehyeh) with you."  God's name was a form of the word, 'ehyeh.  It was "Yahweh."

So, when God initiated his covenant relationship with Israel, he was with them. He was for them.  Neither Pharaoh nor the Canaanites could prevail against those whom the Lord was with.

That all changed in Hosea.  God was no longer "I AM" to them.  He was no longer with them.  The covenant was reversed.

"For you are not my people, and I am not I AM to you (Hos 1:9)."

What follows next is the language of divorce in Hosea 2:2.  God divorces his people, and they are taken away into captivity.

This is where Gospel comes in.  The people were hopeless.  They were lost.  They needed a savior.  After an appeal to repent, "Return, O Israel, to the Lord your God (Hos 14:1)," the last oracle in Hosea says,

"I will heal their apostasy, I will love them freely, For My anger has turned away from them.  I will be like the dew to Israel; He will blossom like the lily, ... His renown will be like the wine of Lebanon (Hos 14:4-7)."

The ultimate fulfillment of this is found in Jesus the Messiah.  It is he who ultimately heals us of our sins.  In Jesus, God is once again with us.  He is our "I AM."  He is there for us.  Nothing can separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus!

If there is hope to be found in repentance to Jesus Christ, should we not proclaim that to everyone?