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psa 23Yet as God demands faithfulness we learn in Hosea 13:4-6 that He found instead forgetfulness. 4 “Yet I am the Lord your God ever since the land of Egypt, and you shall know no God but Me; for there is no savior besides Me. 5 I knew you in the wilderness, in the land of great drought. 6 When they had pasture, they were filled; they were filled and their heart was exalted; therefore they forgot Me.”

Despite their sin and disobedience, the Lord is the Lord. He says, “Yet I am the Lord your God ever since the land of Egypt.” However they have tried then cannot replace Him and even as they do not worship Him according to Hid Word, He is still “the Lord your God!” There is nowhere to flee and hide from Him. When He says “You shall know no God but Me” the phrase know means acknowledge. There is no God but Him and so there is no other god to acknowledge. An idol is a lie, a falsity, it is nothing. Only God is God and He is the Lord. Listen again to the verse and tell me what this sounds like? “Yet I am the Lord your God ever since the land of Egypt, and you shall know no God but Me;” … now here is Exodus 20:2-3, “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. 3 “You shall have no other gods before Me.”

Hosea just took the people right back to the Covenant, to the Ten Commandments, to the Law of God that they had broken, earning for themselves the sentence of death. In the midst of the multitude of their false gods Hosea cries out that the Lord alone is God, He is their God, and there is no one else who can save them. “There is no savior besides Me,” He declares.

Here Hosea demonstrates the exclusivity of the gospel of Jesus Christ. There is no other savior but God!

Anselm, one of the early church fathers, said that man owed God a debt that only God could pay for man. There is no man that can pay for, that can atone for their own sin, much less the sins of others. Only Jesus can pay a price like that. God alone is the Savior and if we are left to pay this debt of sin on our own we will never satisfy the holiness of God, we will never pay it in full, we will pay on it forever, but never pay it off. This is the Second Death. So God paid the debt as a Man, by the Man Christ Jesus. He came to redeem us, to buy us back from the slave market of sin. He paid the highest price. He paid with His life.

So God reminds us, “There is no savior besides Me.” Do all paths really lead to God? Only in that every path will end before God at the Throne of Judgment. There is no other road, no other way, no other journey, no other experience, no other messiah, no other sacrifice, no other savior, no other path to reconciliation with God and the forgiveness of sins. If there were any other way, then Jesus did not have to die or suffer what He suffered!

What did Jesus ask the Father in the Garden? “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.” (Matthew 26:39). If it is possible, if there is any other way. And what does Jesus say? What does He tell us? “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6).

This also proves that Jesus is indeed God, doesn’t it? Jesus is the only Way, and God says “There is no savior besides Me.” Jesus is God and God alone is our Savior. He is the only Deliverer.

This then is the demand, the command of the only Savior – He alone is to be acknowledged, worshipped, served, and loved above all else.

He tells them in verses 5-6, “I knew you in the wilderness, in the land of great drought.  When they had pasture, they were filled; they were filled and their heart was exalted; therefore they forgot Me.” God went with them through the wilderness. Do you realize that? He lead them and provided for them – fire, smoke, water, manna, their shoes did not wear out – and they complained and sinned and died. And when the nation went into the land, He conquered their enemies and gave them great victories and the land was flowing with milk and honey and they were satisfied, they were filled, they were blessed more than they could comprehend, and what did they do? They became proud and believed they were self-sufficient and they forgot God. He says, “They forgot Me.”

These verses that show us God providing pasture, literally providing pasture as a shepherd would for his sheep, taking care to meet all their needs…this sounds like Psalm 23 doesn’t it? Let’s read Psalm 23 together:

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. 3 He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. 4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over. 6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”

And they forgot God.

We would never forget God, would we? Surely not! And yet every time we think, talk, or act like God is not there, we are forgetting God.

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