There are three sons born of a prostitute. The name of the first is No Mercy, and the name of the second is Not My People. The reason this parable is given is because Israel was like a prostitute. The nation was in covenant relationship to worship God alone, but they had broken that covenant and worshiped many false gods. So God promises to no longer have mercy on them, he will not forgive their sin, and he will destroy Israel and they will no longer be his people. They will be no different than Gentiles.
There was a third son, Jezreel. Jezreel is a place where God was going to execute vengeance on the sins of his people.
Then Hosea writes these words, v10-11:
“Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be like the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured or numbered. And in the place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’ it shall be said to them, ‘Sons of the living God.’ And the children of Judah and the children of Israel shall be gathered together, and the shall appoint for themselves one head. And they shall go up from the land, for great shall be the day of Jezreel.”
We can make three observations:
1. There is promise for restoration. But notice something has changed during the restoration. This restored Israel is not a national entity like before. It is made up of people who come from the lands where God scattered Israel – ie, the place where it is said “You are not my people”.
2. There, in that place, they will be called sons of God. The one head under which both Judah and the new restored Israel will be gathered must be Jesus himself, the son of David, the promised Christ. He is king over all the earth.
3. The day of Jezreel is the day of God’s vengeance when he executes his wrath. What is the day of God’s wrath? The day of God’s wrath is the day when he executed his wrath on Jesus at the cross instead of on his chosen people.
Paul confirms this interpretation in Romans 9
v 22 – 26 paraphrased:
“What if God wants to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory – even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles? As indeed he says in Hosea:
‘Those who were not my people I will call “my people”
And her who was not beloved I will call “beloved.”‘
‘In the very place where it was said to them, “You are not my people,”
There they will be called, “Sons of the Living God!”‘
I am thankful that today, although I should be called “Not Mine” and “No Mercy”, along with all my church family, we are called “Sons of the Living God” and we are called “Beloved”! All because of the completed work of Jesus who took God’s vengeance on our behalf!