Do You Know Him…The Lord?

Day 22: I will make you my faithful bride. Then you will really know the Lord. (Hosea 2:20).

Hosea 2:20

New Living Translation

20 

I will be faithful to you and make you mine,

    and you will finally know me as the Lord.

I will respect you in all knowledge and will be loyal and devoted to you calling you my own and you will finally know me as the Lord

Hosea 2:20

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Hosea 2:19 Hosea 2:21

Hosea 2:20

I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness

Which lies in keeping the marriage contract inviolable; Christ will never suffer his faithfulness to fail, nor break his covenant; as he is faithful to his Father that appointed him, so he is, and will be, to his church and people, and to every believer, to whom he is espoused; and it is he that makes them faithful unto him, and gives them faith to believe in him, receive, embrace, own, and acknowledge him as their husband: and in this sense some understand it, rendering it, “in faith” {z}; so the Targum and others. This is the third time the word “betroth” is used, or this promise made; which, according to Jerome, refers to them espousing of the Jews in Abraham, at Mount Sinai, and in the times of Christ; and, according to Kimchi, to the three captivities of the Jews, in Egypt, in Babylon, and that in which they now are: and some Christian writers think the mystery of the Trinity is here pointed at; and the sense to be, that all the three divine Persons, Father, Son, and Spirit, would espouse them: but rather it is so often repeated to confirm it, and express the certainty of it, which might, on many accounts, seem a thing incredible. And thou shall know the Lord;

that the Messiah is Jehovah, and that he is their husband; they shall all know him, from the least to the greatest; they shall have a saving knowledge of him, which will issue in eternal life; they shall own him, and acknowledge him, serve and obey him, as their Lord, Head, and Husband, as well as love him, and believe in him. The Targum is,

“and ye shall know to fear before the Lord;”

see ( Jeremiah 31:34 ) . Let it be observed, here are no conditions throughout, it is only “I will”, and “thou shalt”.

FOOTNOTES:

F26 (hnwmab) “in fide”, V. L. &c.

Hosea 2:19 Hosea 2:21

Read Hosea 2:20

Verse 20

Hosea 2:20

I will even betroth thee unto Me in faithfulness; and thou shalt know the Lord.

The husband of the Church

I. The condescension of Christ in calling Himself the husband of His church. This appears if we consider that–

1. She is a debtor.

2. Deformed (Isaiah 1:6).

3. A prostitute (Jeremiah 3:1-2).

4. An enemy.

II. The properties of this relation.

1. Righteousness.

2. Judgment.

3. Loving-kindness.

4. Mercies.

5. For ever.

6. Faithfulness.

III. The experience she has of this relation. “Thou shalt know.” “Know” signifies–

1. To choose (Amos 3:2).

2. To delight in (Psalms 1:6).

3. To be familiar with (2 Samuel 3:25). (H. Foster.)

And thou shalt know the Lord.

Knowing Jehovah

We indeed see that we are in confusion as soon as we turn aside from the right and pure knowledge of God. Since then our salvation consists in the light of faith, our minds ought ever to be directed to God, that our union with Him, which He hath formed by the Gospel, may abide firm and permanent. But as this is not in the power or will of man, we draw this evident conclusion that God not only offers His grace in the outward preaching, but at the same time in the renewing of our hearts. It is necessary that God should work inwardly and efficaciously on our hearts, that His covenant may stand firm; nay, since the knowledge of Him is the special gift of the Spirit, we may with certainty conclude that what is said here refers not only to outward preaching, but that the grace of the Spirit is also joined, by which God renews us after His own image. The covenant of God can be strengthened and preserved only by the knowledge He conveys to us of Himself by the illumination of His Spirit. (John Calvin.)

Of the knowledge of God

There can be no cordial obedience to God by those who are ignorant of Him. Ignorance is not the mother of devotion, but the parent of superstition and idolatry. An unknown person cannot be truly and cordially loved.

I. Persons in a natural ann unregenerate state are destitute of Divine knowledge. (Acts 17:30.)

1. Sin has deprived us of communion with God, corrupted our nature, and darkened our understandings (Ephesians 4:18).

2. This ignorance is increased by a course of sinning.

3. There is many an affected ignorance which is very criminal. Men are unwilling to understand what they might. They love darkness rather than light.

4. Some are given up to judicial blindness and hardness of heart (Romans 1:28). Whilst men are in this state of darkness, they are ignorant–

II. In every regenerate person there is a knowledge of God and of Divine things. Observe–

1. The object of it–God.

III. The nature and properties of this knowledge.

1. It is practical. The mere theory of any science is of little avail.

2. It is of a soul-humbling nature. Other knowledge puffs up.

3. It is pleasant, savoury, and satisfying.

4. It is super-excellent.

5. It is but imperfect in this life, yet it is progressive. (T. Hannam.)

A sanctified knowledge of God

This passage teaches–

1. God is the undertaker for, and worker in His people of all that is required on their part for entering into, and keeping covenant with Him.

2. A right and sanctified knowledge of God is the root and companion of all sanctifying graces and covenant dispositions; therefore all are comprehended in this, to “know the Lord.” Faith gets that name, not only because of the certitude and evidence it brings with it, but because it is begotten by His Word, and by the knowledge of Him in it, and is cherished and confirmed by taking Him up still more, as He is revealed there. (George Hutcheson.)

“Thou shalt know the Lord”: the best knowledge

Luther described theology, the knowledge of God, as “the queen of the sciences.” And in comparison with it, all other knowledge is vain. “We have lost,” said Dr. Bennett, Bishop of Cloyne, to Dr. Parr, when announcing the death of John Cowper, brother of the poet, “the best classic and most liberal thinker in the university.” What said John Cowper himself in his dying hours? “I have laboured day and night to perfect myself in things of no profit. I have sacrificed myself to these pursuits, and am suffering the consequences of my mis-spent labour. I wanted to be highly applauded, and was flattered up to the height of my wishes. Now I must learn a new lesson.”

Do You Know Him?

Knowing Jesus starts by entering into a personal relationship with Him.

God, whose very nature is love, desires to have an intimate love relationship with His people. He wants us to experience the reality of His presence moment by moment in our lives: “I don’t want your sacrifices—I want your love; I don’t want your offerings—I want you to know me” (Hosea 6:6, TLB).

We begin to know and love God through personal revelation that comes to us by faith. This dawning of relationship takes place in our lives as we come to the light. Jesus is the Light. When we come to Him, we are enlightened. When we come to Him, we come to truth.

We come to know God. Jesus said, “If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him” (John 14:7, NASB).

Knowing about Jesus is not Christianity. Christianity is knowing Jesus as Savior and Lord. It is knowing a fellowship with Him that results from the transforming work of the Spirit in the heart. It is heart knowledge, not head knowledge. It is possible to be a learned biblical scholar, skilled in theological debate, and still not be living in communion with Christ. God is not an idea to discuss. He is the reality we participate in.

We enter into the knowledge of God when we enter into the kingdom of God. Jesus tells us that without faith we cannot even see the Kingdom of God, much less enter it. “. . . unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God . . . unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God” (John 3:3, 5, NASB).

I had been attending church for some time, participating in the rituals and routines of church life. Though I experienced no real fulfillment, I believed that this must be what it meant to be a Christian. If I was lacking in inner joy, I thought that was because I needed to work harder at it. Then one day, walking into the adult Sunday School class, my eyes became fixed on these words the teacher had written in bold letters on the chalkboard: CHRISTIANITY IS A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH JESUS CHRIST.

These simple, straightforward words impacted me like dawn breaking after a long, dark night.

I saw that I had been “playing church,” I had been involved with externals while Christianity is a matter of internals. I had been substituting ritual for relationship. I had no personal knowledge of God, no soul attachment to Him.

Soon after reading the message on the chalkboard, I reached out to Jesus in faith. He took my hand and guided my steps into the Kingdom. In the awe and beauty of that moment I came to know God. Thereafter, life, both in the church and out in the world, took on fresh vibrance and rich meaning, for it was new life—life lived in the personal, vital awareness of God.

Jesus issues an invitation to all the world: “Come to the light. Enter the knowledge. Cross over into the Kingdom. Abide in Me.” A wondrous thing happens when we accept Jesus’ invitation and open our lives to His touch. A miracle occurs. We are given a new heart that loves God; a new spirit that communes with God; and a renewed mind that is open and receptive to spiritual truth—a mind eager to learn from the counsel of wise Christians, and a mind that delights in studying the Scriptures. Mysteriously, Jesus Himself, within us, is our Teacher, Counselor, and Guide.

As we learn to recognize His voice and listen to Him we are freed from self-centeredness and conformity to the world. We are transformed. Christ becomes the center of life and life is flooded with hope and gladness. “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect” (Rom. 12:2, NASB).

The words “to know” as used in the Bible mean far more than “to be acquainted with.”

Biblically “to know” also signifies the intimate union between husband and wife, the two who are made one. God has chosen to use the illustration of marriage to describe the love relationship between Himself and His people. “Yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and in justice, in lovingkindness and in compassion, And I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness. Then you will know the Lord” (Hosea 2:19-20, NASB).

In the New Testament, the Church is referred to as “the Bride of Christ.” The Bride-Bridegroom relationship is one of love, fulfillment, intimacy, and joy. It is also a relationship wherein each participant lays down his own separate life for the other. Jesus gave His life for His Bride, the Church. “. . . Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her” (Eph. 5:25, NASB).

As the Bride, our entry into personal union with Christ also involves laying down our lives for Him. “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me” (Gal. 2:20, NASB).

To know Christ speaks of the mystery of divine union with Him, of the reception of Christ into the heart.

There is no greater joy than to be aware that He who is pure love is present within us.

As the light of His love enlightens the eyes of our heart, we become more lovely, loving God more and reaching out to others in love. As William Penn said, “Love is above all; and when it prevails in us all, we shall all be lovely and in love with God and one with another.”

Valkyrie Murphy was a free-lance writer and member of the Bend, Oregon Church of the Nazarene.

Originally published in the Herald of Holiness, February 15th, 1983.

Holiness Today, Jan/Feb 2019

Author: J. Palmer

Living under the wings of God and the angels around me keeping me going and safe. Sharing the love of Christ.

One thought on “Do You Know Him…The Lord?”

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