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Hosea 2:19-20 -

Divine betrothal.

The unfaithfulness of the past is forgotten. The love of the Divine Husband is renewed. A joyous betrothal is the prelude to a hallowed, prolonged, and happy union.

I. THE BRIDEGROOM . Jehovah condescends to represent himself as sustaining this relationship. It implies on his part love and attachment, purposes of everlasting kindness, for the marriage cannot be broken, and a provision for all the wants of her whom he takes to himself.

II. THE BRIDE . Israel is here the type of the Church whom the Lord Jesus has purchased unto himself—the bride of the Lamb. She is indeed happy and honored in the choice of her Divine spouse. She is called to purity, to fidelity, to holy service.

III. THE COVENANT AND CONTRACT . On the side of the Lord all is of grace; and the undertakings of the Bridegroom are "for ever." On the side of his spouse, the Church, there is implied the spiritual marriage vow, with all which that involves.

IV. THE SPIRIT IN WHICH THE UNION IS CONTRACTED . This is faithfulness, or the certainty of the fulfillment of the pledge voluntarily given. All God's promises are sure, for he is faithful.

V. THE CONDESCENDING PROMISE OF THE BRIDEGROOM TO THE BRIDE . "Thou shalt know the Lord." This knowledge shall be of all Jehovah's gracious attributes, and in itself it is eternal life.—T.

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