Hosea 6’s Comprehensive Covenant


The Prophet Hosea (around B.C. 750) made a very important prediction.   That forecast, at its deepest level, apparently refers to the work of the Second Adam Jesus Christ — and to the then-still-to-be-outpoured gift of His Holy Spirit on the New Testament’s first Pentecost Sunday. Here is that divine prognostication.

Wrote God’s Prophet Hosea:  "Come, and let us return to the Lord!   For He has torn; but He will heal us.  He has smitten; yet He will bind us up.   After two days, He will revive us.   On the third day He will raise us up, and we shall live….   Then He shall come to us, like the rain — like the latter and former rain — to the Earth….  

"But they [viz. the children of Ephraim and Israel and Judah], like Adam, have transgressed the Covenant.”   Yet “also for you, O Judah, He has appointed a harvest — when I return [or when I turn back and change] the captivity of My People,"1100 says the Lord. Now this passage is anchored in Adam’s transgression of the Covenant of Life.  The Triune God established it with the unfallen Adam, in Paradise itself.  

The verses at the beginning of this chapter in Hosea, certainly seem to be predicting Christ’s being torn and smitten in death — and of His then living again when risen from the dead "on the third day."   But they also seem to be a foreshadowing even of God’s raising up of His New Testament Visible Church.   For that Church "revives" precisely in and through the Resurrection and Ascension of Christ Himself on behalf of His people.  

Moreover, ten days after His Own Ascension, Christ would indeed cause His people to "live in His sight."   For then, in the Person of His Holy Spirit, on the Newer Testament’s first Pentecost Sunday He Himself would come back to His people "as the rain" — just as He had promised to do.

Hosea explains that also the Hebrews, "like Adam,1101 have transgressed the Covenant."1102 They broke the Covenant, like Adam — because they had transgressed it already, in Adam.    God breathed His Spirit into man; man sinned; man needs the rainlike Spirit to revive  him!

From this, it is apparent that God originally made a Covenant of Life and Works with the Spirit-filled Adam — be fruitful!; fill the Earth; promote life!; cultivate and guard!; name and catalogue!; subdue the Cosmos!   Genesis 1 & 3 and Psalm 8.   It is a Covenant which Adam transgressed.   Still re-transgressible, that Covenant is yet binding, because never rescinded.

The nature of Adam’s transgression (and also of the later rather similar transgression of God’s People in Hosea’s own time), is then described.   It is a transgression of the comprehensive principles of the Decalogue — and thus of Cosmos-embracing scope.  

For treachery, robbery, misalliance, unpriestliness, murder, lewdness, and covetousness all transgress the Covenant1103 comprehensively.   Thus their opposites — faithfulness, protecting private property,  good alliances, holy priestliness, promoting life, and sexual integrity — similarly all constitute the keeping of the Covenant just as comprehensively, with cosmos- embracing results. 

Dr. Calvin concludes his comment on Hosea six with this mighty prayer:  "Grant, Almighty God…, that being strengthened by the help of Your Spirit we may continue in purity of faith! May what we have learnt concerning You — that You are a Spirit — so profit us, that we may worship You in Spirit and with a sincere heart, and never turn aside!…   May we so devote our souls and bodies to You — that our life may in every part of it testify that we are a pure and holy sacrifice to You, in Christ Jesus our Lord!" 

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