And he is, to them, ‘a stone of stumbling and a rock of offence’. Yes, they stumble at the Word of God for in their hearts they are unwilling to obey it—which makes stumbling a foregone conclusion. But you are God’s “chosen generation”, his “royal priesthood”, his “holy nation”, his “peculiar people”—all the old titles of God’s people now belong to you. It is for you now to demonstrate the goodness of him who has called you out of darkness into his amazing light. In the past you were not “a people” at all: now you are the people of God. In the past you had no experience of his mercy, but now it is intimately yours.
But you are the ones chosen by God, chosen for the high calling of priestly work, chosen to be a holy people, God’s instruments to do his work and speak out for him, to tell others of the night-and-day difference he made for you—from nothing to something, from rejected to accepted.
You, who once were LO AMI ("not My people" Hos 1:9) but now AMI ATAH ("My people you are" Hos 2:25), the AM Hashem ("the people of G-d"), the ones having not received rachamim, but now having received rachamim (Hos 2:25).
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