If the Bible is simply one message, one love story told in many different ways and at many different time lines to many different types of people then how should we read it?
In the following verses we are going to reading quotations Paul uses from the 2 prophets, Hosea and Isaiah. Why does he use them? It seems they are taken out of context. Unless Paul is using them to align within what he sees is the important Abrahamic promise not just for the Jew but for the Gentile, for those who are not necessarily generationally linked but of the faith. Throughout this letter he is referring continually back to Abraham. This salvation story is important for Paul and in these verses we see the Abrahamic story coming through. That could be why Paul uses these 2 prophets because he sees in them the message from Abraham. I have emboldened the words that point back to the Abrahamic promise.
“— even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles? As he says in Hosea: “I will call them ‘my people’ who are not my people; and I will call her ‘my loved one’ who is not my loved one,” (Hosea 2:23)and, “In the very place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’ there they will be called ‘children of the living God.” (Hosea 1:10) Isaiah cries out concerning Israel: “Though the number of the Israelites be like the sand by the sea, only the remnant will be saved. For the Lord will carry out his sentence on earth with speed and finality.” (Isaiah 10: 22, 23) It is just as Isaiah said previously: “Unless the Lord Almighty had left us descendants, we would have become like Sodom, we would have been like Gomorrah.” (Isaiah 1:9) (Romans 9 v 24-29)
If this is true that Paul uses prophecies related to other things but sees the salvation story within them and appropriates them to his teaching on the promises found in God’s redemption: then what about us?
How do we read the Bible?
Do we jump into stories randomly or do we read them through the filter of the greatest story ever told: the salvation of God through Jesus Christ?
Perhaps we could try at least to do that?
Every story; every proverb; every song; every letter/book of the Bible used to point people to the love of God found in the Messiah who has come and will come again.
That’s the power of the Bible for changed lives. God’s love letter to the world for many generations!