DID HOSEA 6:2 PREDICT OUR DISPENSATION OF GRACE?
by Shawn Brasseaux
I am very well aware that some in dispensational circles believe and teach that Hosea 6:2 is an “Old Testament hint” of this our Dispensation of the Grace of God. “After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight.” Are these “two days” really a prediction of our 2,000-year-long dispensation that precedes Israel’s restoration? Let us consider that in this study.
While we will spare all the details here, suffice it to say that this verse is describing God’s return to Israel and Israel’s return to God. Observe the verse in its full context, Hosea 5:15–6:2: “[5:15] I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me early. [6:1] Come, and let us return unto the LORD: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up. [6:2] After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight.”
Many years ago, I also viewed Hosea 6:2 as a reference to our Dispensation of Grace. Thus, I am familiar with the idea. There are some who teach that “two days” refers to a period of 2,000 years (the time that our Dispensation of Grace has been operating). Moreover, some will resort to 2 Peter 3:8 as an auxiliary verse (or at least, the piece of it that says, “One day is with the Lord as a thousand years….”). They say that after Israel is blinded for those 2,000 years, God restores them during the third 1,000-year period. They argue that “third day” is the Millennium, the 1,000-year reign of Jesus Christ on Earth. While clever, and somewhat interesting, it does not stand up to the test of Scripture. (Hence, I abandoned the idea some years ago.) When we start looking for verses in the “Old Testament” to find ourselves in the purpose and program of God, we demonstrate we really have not mastered the most basic division in God’s Word. To find “hints” of our Dispensation of Grace in the “Old Testament” simply adds to the pre-existing confusion in Christendom.
Peter preached in Acts 3:21: “[Jesus Christ] Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.” Whereas Paul wrote in Romans 16:25-26: “Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, But now is made manifest….”
If we look at Acts 3:21 and Romans 16:25, and let them say what they say, we will see a stark difference. On one hand, Peter preached about something God had made known since the world began. On the other hand, Paul wrote about something that God had kept secret since the world began. Thus, we do not find the Dispensation of Grace outside of Paul’s epistles and ministry—see Ephesians 3:2. There is no Dispensation of Grace to find in Hosea, or any other “Old Testament” book.
Dear friends, the safest interpretation of Hosea 6:2 is as follows. Firstly, it is prophecy rather than mystery. That is, it is God’s program for Israel and the Earth, not His program for us the Body of Christ and the Heavenly Places. Secondly, those “days” are literal days as we understand “days,” being just as literal as Jesus being dead “three days and three nights.” The only way for Hosea 6:2 to make sense is if the two days refer to the two days prior to Jesus Christ’s return to Earth (at His Second Coming). He will leave the third heaven on the first day, and He will arrive in the land of Israel on the third day. What happens during the two days prior to His literal, physical, and visible return to the planet Earth (land of Israel), is a fascinating study. One day, we will discuss it. For now, just know Hosea 6:2 is not about our program or us at all.