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Relationship of the Messages of Amos and Hosea to the Mosaic Covenant

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Relationship of the Messages of Amos and Hosea to the Mosaic Covenant

Assignment: From the oracles of Amos and Hosea show how their messages were true to the Mosaic revelation. (Think particularly of the Sinai covenant blessings and curses and the new beginning).

1.0 Introduction

In completing this assignment, I shall first endeavour to answer the question: What are the key elements of the Mosaic revelation? In addition, a brief overview of the n

New Beginnings promise will be presented. Following this, I shall then relate the oracles of Amos and Hosea to the Mosaic revelation in order to demonstrate that their messages were true to the Mosaic revelation.

2.0 The Mosaic Revelation

There are three elements of the Mosaic revelation: the characteristics of God, the purpose of God, and the requirements of God. All three aspects are important for the assignment at hand because they are embodied in the oracles of Amos and Hosea.

2.1 The Characteristics of God in the Mosaic Revelation

God revealed Himself to Moses as the sovereign, immutable, and Almighty God who is compassionate, "merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness" (Exodus 34:6). He is a covenant-keeping God who expects His people to be mindful of His covenants and keep them. As such, He is the righteous judge and lawgiver, who blesses the obedient and would not let the guilty go unpunished. The key elements of these characteristics are discussed briefly in the following subsections.

2.1.1 His Sovereignty

God's sovereignty was revealed to Moses through (i) His dealings with the Egyptians in preparation for the exodus, (ii) His dealings with the kings who came against the Israelites, and (iii) most emphatically in the fact that though there were nations residing in the land He had promised to Abraham, it was His to give to whomever He chose to give it to. Most importantly, His sovereignty in salvation is revealed to Moses in that memorable verse:

"And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy" (Exodus 33:19b).

2.1.2 His Immutability

God revealed Himself to Moses in the first instance as the I AM, that is, as the immutable God who is not subject to or susceptible to change or variation in form or quality or nature. This is important for the subject at hand because, thousands of years later, we see God's immutability on display in the oracles of Amos and Hosea. These prophets were calling the Israelites to account because the God of Israel had not changed in character and in His requirement that His people be faithful to Him and His word.

2.1.3 His Holiness

First and foremost, God revealed Himself to Moses as a most holy God. At Mount Horeb, when Moses received his commission to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt, he was instructed to take off his sandals for the ground he was standing on was holy - the implication being that it was holy because of the particular manifestation of the holy God of Israel at that location. In short, God is the awesomely holy God and, given His awesome holiness, it should come as no surprise that He would require holiness from His people. This is the underpinning element of the Mosaic revelation and of the oracles of Amos and Hosea - in deed, of all prophetic oracles in the Holy Scriptures:

"Speak to all the congregation of the people of Israel and say to them, You shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy"(Leviticus 19:2).

As God's people, redeemed by His mighty act, the Israelites were expected to be set apart to the service and worship of God.

2.1.4 His Goodness

God's goodness as revealed to Moses encompass His compassion, mercifulness, graciousness, slowness to anger, steadfastness in love, and faithfulness. These qualities characterized God's dealings with Israel and are all alluded to in Amos and Hosea, as we shall see later. God's calling of Abraham was grounded in grace and mercy and it was on the basis of His covenant mercy and grace that He commissioned Moses to lead the descendants of Abraham out of Egypt.

His compassion is particularly evident in His provision for the poor, the oppressed and the underprivileged in the Mosaic Law. And when the Israelites forsook His covenant and were subjected to His judgement, it was on the basis of His mercy and compassion that He promised restoration upon their repentance:

"None of the devoted things shall stick to your hand, that the LORD may turn from the fierceness of his anger and show you mercy and have compassion on you and multiply you, as he swore to your fathers" (Deuteronomy 13:7).

2.1.5 His Covenant-Keeping Characteristic

God particularly revealed Himself to Moses as a covenant-making and covenant-keeping God. No doubt, Moses had in depth knowledge of the Abrahamic covenant prior to His commission on Mount Horeb, but at that "Mount of God", he was clearly instructed that it was on the basis of the Abrahamic covenant that God was now setting things in motion to deliver the children of Israel and to bring them into the land He promised Abraham, Isaac and Jacob:

"God spoke to Moses and said to him, 'I am the LORD. I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as God Almighty, but by my name the LORD I did not make myself known to them. I also established my covenant with them to give them the land of Canaan, the land in which they lived as sojourners. Moreover, I have heard the groaning of the people of Israel whom the Egyptians hold as slaves, and I have remembered my covenant. Say therefore to the people of Israel, 'I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from slavery to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great acts of judgment. I will take you to be my people, and I will be your God, and you shall know that I am the LORD your God, who has brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. I will bring you into the land that I swore to give to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. I will give it to you for a possession. I am the LORD'" (Exodus 6:2-8), emphasis added.

Notice here that the name of God translated in the ESV as the LORD is Yehowah (often

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