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O DeathIn Hosea 13:9-13 then we see God giving and God taking away. 9 “O Israel, you are destroyed, but your help is from Me. 10 I will be your King; where is any other, that he may save you in all your cities? And your judges to whom you said, ‘Give me a king and princes’? 11 I gave you a king in My anger, and took him away in My wrath. 12 “The iniquity of Ephraim is bound up; his sin is stored up. 13 The sorrows of a woman in childbirth shall come upon him. He is an unwise son, for he should not stay long where children are born.

He tells them what is coming and He tells them that He is their only help. But they will not listen. The people wanted a King. God is the King. But the people did not want God as King. God giving them a king was in fact an act of judgment! 11 I gave you a king in My anger, and took him away in My wrath.

He is Lord, but the people did not want Him as Lord and so the nation of Assyria was about to lord it over them as a tool in the hands of the Lord so that through these circumstances God might reign!

And we are seeing here how a nation dies – it is given what it wants and it destroys itself. They are given over to their sin and by that they die.

As another description we see in verses 13-14, 12 “The iniquity of Ephraim is bound up; his sin is stored up. 13 The sorrows of a woman in childbirth shall come upon him. He is an unwise son, for he should not stay long where children are born.

This refers to a child that is overdue! The mother is in labor but the “unwise son” is staying where children are born, and this is a phrase that refers to the birth canal. She is in labor but he is refusing to be born. Now, if this happens and the baby isn’t progressing to be born, what happens? Without intervention it means the death of the child and the mother.

God is telling His people that they are not following the natural course as they should. They are fighting and rebelling and going their own way to their own peril, yet they see no danger. They fear no judgment. They think in their human wisdom that they can think their way out of their predicament, or negotiate their way out of it. Yet their only help is the very One they are refusing to hear and obey.

In verse 14 God says, 14 “I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death. O Death, I will be your plagues! O Grave, I will be your destruction! Pity is hidden from My eyes.” What God finally says to the people is what we watched happen with Hosea and Gomer. Gomer, in her unfaithfulness, came to a point where she could not control what was happening to her and in her pursuit of sin ended up bound by it literally, she could not pay her debt, and she was sold at auction. And Hosea bid for her and bought her back. He sought her and bought her!

Now in verse 14 the people have sinned, they have remained stubborn, and even as God is about to bring these successive judgments against them God brings the solution to bear upon the nation. There is a drastic solution to the problem of the people refusing to repent because this problem means death. So the solution is to ransom them from the power of the grave. God here is paying the price that they REFUSE to pay! The price that they won’t pay.

The wages of sin is death. He will ransom them from the grave and redeem them from death. He has done this by the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus!
We see there also a phrase that is a chorus, part of a song. “O Death, I will be your plagues! O Grave, I will be your destruction!” This is 1 Corinthians 15:55 isn’t it? “O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?” Paul does directly quote the verses from Hosea by the way. He gives us the version from the Greek Septuagint.

In looking at the life, death, and resurrection of Christ, Paul shows us the fulfillment of Hosea 13:14. The ransom for God’s people has been paid by His Son.  He is our Redeemer. There is no Savior besides Him! And He sings in victory over death and the grave, as will we.

God says when it comes to the death of death, “Pity is hidden from My eyes.” In other words, Christ conquered death without a second thought, without hesitation. He conquered death by dying. He gave Himself so that we could be ransomed, redeemed, and resurrected.

This is the reversal of death and the curse. Communion with God was broken by sin. It has been restored by Christ.

Upon mentioning ransom by the way, some say God had to pay Satan. NO! Absolutely not. When Jesus paid it all, He paid GOD – it was God’s wrath, justice, and holiness that required death for sin. God sent His Son to ransom us from God’s wrath! Jesus saved us from God!

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