Death and Resurrection
Open Your Bible
Hosea 13:1-16, Exodus 20:2, Acts 4:11-12, 1 Corinthians 15:54-56
I have had many mountain-top moments of faith through the years. God has delivered in some big ways. My response to these moments is always a string of renewed promises: I will pray more often, I will worship God more vulnerably, I will feast on the Word of God daily without fail. But hours turn to days, weeks, and suddenly I realize I’ve already forgotten the promises I have made to God. In Hosea 13, we are told how the people of God experienced the ups and downs of their forgotten promises to God.
After God’s people were rescued from Egypt, they promised to worship no other god except the Lord. But as you might guess, it wasn’t long before they began to fashion idols for themselves and give credit where credit was not due. Their punishment for breaking their covenant with God was to wander in the desert for forty years, with none of the adult generation to see the Promised Land! The peoples’ time of wandering is marked by many times of complaining against God, hunger, and thirst, but all the while God remembered them and provided for them again and again. Each time, the people would praise the Lord, and rededicate themselves to serving Him again. But along the way, they would forget of His great deeds, grow unfaithful and proud, and neglect God’s provision (Hosea 13:5–6).
I often remark on how ungrateful Israel’s response was to God’s loving-kindness. It is seemingly impossible for these people to be faithful to their promises, yet the more I reflect on my own spiritual habits, I realize I act much the same way. Just like Israel, I give credit to myself, forgetting all the victories God has won. I trade God’s invitation to come and be with Him for a cheap imitation of intimacy with my phone on the couch. I overlook the amazing thing God has done for me, what feels like seconds after His blessing has manifested.
But how does God respond to this ungratefulness? Well, I really have no reason to fault Him if His response is to “be like a lion,” but remarkably He chooses to “redeem them from death” (vv.7,14). Though He is rejected by His people, He still chooses to rescue them.
There truly is no one like our God. His forgiveness is not dependent on our ability to follow the law, “for no one alive is righteous in [God’s] sight” (Psalm 143:2). Instead, God’s forgiveness is dependent on the death and life of Jesus paying the debt of our sin. The God who rescued the Israelites from Egypt is the same God rescuing us today. Despite our failed promises to Him, God will keep us from death. Despite our unfaithfulness, God is mighty to save.