The Minor Prophets Speak to Today
A Key to Hope
Hosea 13:14 NKJV
If you followed the lesson from this verse in last week's blog - The Case for Our Corporate Guilt, you may notice the difference in the translation here compared to the translation in the New Living Version. One makes a powerful negative statement. The second holds a biblical key to hope.
This alerts us to the complexity of the translation process. A deeper look shows us that the NKJV follows the Greek translation of the Old Testament. The NLT leans on the original languages of the same scripture.
Our purpose here is not to do a scholarly reconciliation. Both translations bring out truths which are upheld and taught in other places. They each hold a place in the whole counsel of God.
We returned to this verse to look at the positive teaching.
1. I Will Ransom Them from the Power of the Grave!
Christ paid this ransom by his death, burial, and resurrection. This is such a key truth that Paul calls it the gospel in 1 Corinthians 15:1-6.
God paid the ransom by which the grave no longer has power over us. We no longer need to fear it for before it is opened we have already passed from death into life everlasting and full of glory. This is our Great Hope! If it is not true, we are among all people most deluded.
But since Christ's resurrection is sure, is a well established historical fact, our hope is indeed secure. There is no other bit of history from the ancient world as well and reliably documented as this fact: Christ has risen. He has risen indeed.
2. I Will Redeem Them from Death.
Christ not only ransomed us from the grave, he redeemed us from death itself. In our sins, death owned us. But we are bought with a price. To redeem is to gain or regain possession of (something) in exchange for payment.
And that payment covers not only our spirit and soul but also our very bodies which the grave has to give up to be rejoined with our spirit in the air with the returning Christ.
Ransom brings us hope. Redemption joy!
3. Then God Taunts Death and the Grave!
Hey there death! I will be your plagues. You have tormented my children, my earth, enough. Now I will torment you.
In advance of the redemption, God taunts death with the certainty of what is to come.
Hey you, the grave! I will be your destruction.
One of the amazing truths of God is that the grave itself will be destroyed. It must give up every person, the condemned as well as the redeemed. With the restoration of the earth not even a historical monument to death will survive. That part of the past will disappear forever.
Wow! What a statement in advance. Can't you feel your heart rise as you read that! How amazing!
And, to top it all off, God closes the taunt with the statement, "Pity is hidden from my eyes."
Not only will I torment death and destroy the grave, I will have no pity on either one. Not one tear drop of sorrow for their demise. Not one heart twag of sympathy will break the atmosphere of heaven!
Old Grave Stone by Heath Alselke, some rights reserved @flickr.com