Wednesday: Ammi “My People”
In Romans 9:25 Paul quotes Hosea 2:23, and in Romans 9:26 he quotes Hosea 1:10. The background is that God instructed Hosea to take “a wife of whoredoms” (Hos. 1:2) as an illustration of God’s relationship with Israel, because the nation had gone after strange gods.
The children born to this marriage were given names signifying God’s rejection and punishment of idolatrous Israel. The third child was named Loammi (Hos. 1:9), meaning literally “not my people.”
Yet, amid all this, Hosea predicted that the day would come when, after punishing His people, God would restore their fortunes, take away their false gods, and make a covenant with them. (see Hos. 2:11-19). At this point those who were Loammi, “not my people,” would become Ammi, “my people.”
In Paul’s day, the Ammi were “even us, . . . not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles” (Rom. 9:24). What a clear and powerful presentation of the gospel, a gospel that from the start was intended for the whole world. No wonder we as Adventists take part of our calling from Revelation 14:6: “Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth – to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people” (NKJV). Today, as in Paul’s day, and as in the days of ancient Israel, the good news of salvation is to be spread throughout the world.
Read Romans 9:25-29. Notice how much Paul quotes the Old Testament to make his point about the things that were happening in his day. What is the basic message found in this passage? What hope is being offered there to his readers?
The fact that some of Paul’s kinsmen rejected the appeal of the gospel gave him “great heaviness and continual sorrow” in his heart (Rom. 9:2). But at least there was a remnant. God’s promises do not fail, even when humans do. The hope we can have is that, in the end, God’s promises will be fulfilled, and if we claim those promises for ourselves, they will be fulfilled in us, as well.
|How often have people failed you? How often have you failed yourself and others? Probably more times than you can count, right? What lessons can you learn from these failures about where your ultimate trust must lie?|