As he saith also in Osee (Hosea), I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved. And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God (Romans 9:25-26).
Though often thought to be a reference to the Gentiles, Hosea is actually referring to the house of Israel in the text referenced above. Hosea was a prophet in Israel before the northern tribes of Israel were taken captive by the Assyrians and before Judah was taken captive by the Babylonians.
In chapter one of Hosea, God instructed Hosea to take a wife from among the prostitutes, so Hosea married a prostitute named Gomer. Gomer then conceived, and gave birth to a son, and the Lord told Hosea to call his name Jesreel; for God was going to cause the Kingdom of the house of Israel to cease.
Gomer then gave birth again, but this time to a daughter. God told Hosea to call her name Loruhamah, because God said, “I will no more have mercy upon the house of Israel; but I will utterly take them away.”
After Gomer had weaned Loruhamah, she conceived, and bare another son. God told Hosea to call his name Loammi, meaning “For ye are not my people, and I will not be your God.” This was the a message to kingdom of the house of Israel as well.
It is after this, in verse 10, that we find the words quoted by Paul in Romans 9:25-26. Here is how it reads in Hosea:
Yet the number of THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass, that in the place WHERE IT WAS SAID UNTO THEM, Ye are not my people, there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God.
When the northern tribes of Israel (the Kingdom of the house of Israel) were overtaken by the Assyrians, they were scattered among the nations, never again to recover and become a unified nation. They had become as the Gentiles in the sight of God, for God said of them – “For ye are not my people and I will not be your God” (Hosea 1:9). They lost their inheritance, being scattered under the curse of the law.
However, God’s mercy remained with Judah because of His promises to David, and He caused Judah to return to the land after 70 years in captivity; but the Kingdom of Israel (the 10 tribes of the north) never recovered.
If it had not been for God’s oath to David, Judah’s punishment would have been more severe. However, God made an oath to David, and God kept His promise. In His mercy, He brought Judah back to the land in preparation for the Messiah, in whom His oath to David would be fulfilled. Christ is the Messiah, the descendant of David who will reign forever. He is now seated as the King of Israel, enthroned at the right hand of God.
When God disinherited Israel, He said to them; “Ye are not my people.” Yet, He gave them the promise that it shall be said unto them, “Ye are the sons of the living God.” In Romans 9-11 Paul tells us how God fulfilled this promise to Israel.
It was not through the Law, for under the Law they fell under the curse and were disinherited as the people of God. How then, did God fulfill his promise to those He disinherited? How would they receive life from the dead as Paul says in the book of Romans?
For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead? (Romans 11:15)
How would God accomplish this? It would come through the THE SALVATION OF THE GENTILES! Paul tells us in Romans, “through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy” (Romans 11:11).
In Romans 10:19 we read the following: But I say, DID NOT ISRAEL KNOW? First Moses saith, I will provoke you TO JEALOUSY by them that are NO PEOPLE, and by a foolish nation I will anger you.
Notice the language here: “I will provoke you to jealousy by them that are NO PEOPLE.” This terminology – no people – is the same sort of terminology used to describe Israel by Hosea in Chapter 1, and Paul in Romans 9: “And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are NOT MY PEOPLE; there shall they be called the children of the living God.”
In Romans 11, concerning those who were not a people (whom God would use to provoke Israel to jealously) Paul says: “For as ye in times past, have not believed God, yet have now OBTAINED MERCY THROUGH THEIR UNBELIEF: Even so have these also now not believed, that THROUGH YOUR MERCY THEY ALSO MAY OBTAIN MERCY.
Paul does not mean to say, since God showed you Gentiles mercy, He will be fair and also show them mercy as well. It is much more than that. Paul is saying “the mercy you have received as “not a people” is the same mercy they have too will receive “as not a people.”
For there is NO DIFFERENCE between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him (Romans 10:12). In essence, God has reckoned Israel along with the Gentiles as being, under sin, so that He might make salvation available to all on the grounds of his mercy and grace.
In Romans 3 Paul says, “the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ is UNTO ALL and UPON ALL them that believe: FOR THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God…”
The mention of NO DIFFERENCE, is a reference to the Jew and Gentiles. Paul is echoing his sentiments from earlier in the chapter when he said: “What then? are we (Jews) better than they (Gentiles) ? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that THEY ARE ALL UNDER SIN…”
In correlation with his statements in Romans 3, that all are under sin, both Jews and Gentiles, Paul says the following in Romans 11:
For as ye (Gentiles) in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief: Even so have these (the Jews in unbelief) also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy. FOR GOD HATH CONCLUDED THEM ALL IN UNBELIEF, THAT HE MIGHT HAVE MERCY UPON ALL. O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! (Romans 11:30-33).
God foreordained that salvation would be by grace to all who believe therefore whoso ever believes on HIM shall not be ashamed! (Romans 9:33)