Dear Church Family,
Hosea 13:14 “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.”
This verse appears in the midst of a chapter that describes Israel’s helpless estate and the reasons for it. It offers, in effect, a hope that no king or government or power on earth can offer.
It is very important for us to remember this in our own times. No government agency, no political figure, no human policy or practice can offer this hope. Not the CDC, not the U.S. Congress, not the governor of any state can keep anyone of us from death, and certainly can do nothing to overcome the grave on your behalf.
No one can insure his or her own life against death, let alone anyone else’s. King Ahab tried to cleverly preserve his own life at the sacrifice of Jehoshaphat’s, but a bow drawn at random sent an arrow into the chink in his armor and brought him down to the grave.
While people are so concerned with the preserving of their own lives and others, it gives to you and me an opportunity to present to them the only guarantee against death that is available to men and women–to introduce them to the only Ruler who has a policy that offers real hope against the plague of the grave–the One who through His own Son brought about the death of death for all who believe.
Be in prayer for opportunities to share this “policy” with those who live in fear of death. Pray that the Gospel which takes away the fear of death will go forth with great liberty, even in this time of restriction, and show men and women that though the grave follows them, there is a message from God that will end its threat, not just for now but forever.
1 Corinthians 15:55-57 “O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR STING? O HADES, WHERE IS YOUR VICTORY?” The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Here is a beautiful hymn on the subject by John Newton that you can sing to the tune used for “O Jesus, I Have Promised.”
How lost was my condition,
Till JESUS made me whole!
There is but one physician,
Can cure a sin-sick soul!—
The worst of all diseases
Is light compar’d with sin;
On ev’ry part it seizes,
But rages most within.
From men great skill professing,
I thought a cure to gain;
But this prov’d more distressing,
And added to my pain—
Some said that nothing ail’d me,
Some gave me up for lost,
Thus every refuge fail’d me…,
And all my hopes were cross’d.
At length this great Physician–
How matchless is his grace!
Accepted my petition,
And undertook my case—
Next door to death he found me,
And snatch’d me from the grave;
To tell to all around me,
His wond’rous power to save.
A dying, risen JESUS,
Seen by the eye of faith,
At once from danger frees us,
And saves the soul from death—
Come then to this Physician,
His help he’ll freely give,
He makes no hard condition,
‘Tis only—look—and live.