Hosea: One Nation under God Indivisible
King David was a man after God's own heart and his rule united Israel. He reigned in Hebron (over Judah) for 7.5 years and then reigned 33 years in Israel (over Israel) (1 Kings 2:11). The united kingdom of Israel, a foreshadow of things to come, did not last long because of the idolatry of David's son Solomon and the kingdom was divided in two. Solomon's son Rehoboam was given two tribesto rule, and Jeroboam was given ten tribes to rule. But, what purpose did God have in dividing the kingdom?
It seems to me that the purpose of the divided kingdom is to provide a picture of God's redeeming plan for Jews and Gentiles in terms of His kingdom. The ten northern tribes were ruled by Jeroboam, the son of a slave women (1 Kings 11:26), which is similar to the story of Ishmael who was also the son of a slave women (Gal. 4:22). Both of these situations are illustrations of those who are strangers to the covenants of promise: People who have not been shown mercy and are not God's people (Hos. 1:8-9). However, one day both the children of promise and the children of slavery will be united under one leader in one kingdom, just like when David was king.
Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be like the sand of the sea, which cannot be 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, "Children of the living God." And the children of Judah and the children of Israel shall be gathered together, and they shall appoint for themselves one head (Hos. 2:10-11).That day is now! Both Jews and Gentiles are united Jesus Christ in His kingdom.
Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called "the uncircumcision" by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands- remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world (Eph. 2:11-13).Because of our pride we think it is a given that God would want to have a relationship with us, but that was not the case in ancient Israel. It was assumed that only Israel had access to the promises of God, and all the rest of us had no hope. But, God being rich in mercy provided a way through the failures of Israel to unite both slaves and free alike under His rule.
For through Him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the cornerstone (Eph. 2:18-20).This is truly amazing.