Daily Reading: Hosea 12, 13, 14; Revelation 3
Shall I ransom them from the power of Sheol? Shall I redeem them from death? O Death, where are your thorns? O Sheol, where is your sting? Compassion will be hidden from My sight. (Hosea 13:14, NASB95)
Hosea proclaims the certainty of Israel’s (Ephraim’s) exile. The life that Israel had hoped for in their fertility cults would only bring forth death (Hos. 13:12-13). The questions God asks probably all have a negative answer. Why? Because of the last statement.
- God will not ransom them from the power of Sheol.
- God will not redeem them from death.
- Death has thorns.
- Sheol has sting.
- God won’t have compassion.
God will not deliver them because their sin has consequences (see Hos. 13:15-16). Although, He could deliver them from Sheol and death. In fact, in the future, this people who is now called “not My people, will be called the sons of the living God” (Hos. 1:10). The last chapter of Hosea proclaims God’s healing and restoration: “My anger has turned away from them” (Hos. 14:4). Ezekiel makes clear in the valley of dry bones that God will make the dead live again (Ezek. 37:1-14). Daniel proclaims a resurrection of the righteous and wicked (Dan. 12:2-3).
In talking about Christ’s conquering of death and the certainty of the resurrection, Paul quotes this verse in 1 Cor. 15:55. Because of what Jesus has done, the certainty of the resurrection is assured. God demonstrates power over death and His promise of the resurrection is guaranteed because Christ has taken away our sin and has Himself been raised. In Christ, we become new creations; the old is gone and the new has come (2 Cor. 5:17-21). Death has no victory and has lost its sting. What difference does it make to your life that Christ has paid the penalty for sin and redeemed you from death? Is Christ making your life new again?