DEATH & GRAVE have LOST its POWER over US!
September 19 Bible Reading: Hosea Chapters 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." (Hosea 13:14)
The above verse is one of the great Old Testament affirmations of God’s power over the last enemy (death) and its habitation (grave). Even though this great promise by Jehovah God to grant divine power over death did not come into fruition for the people of Israel during the time of Hosea, the true spiritual Israel (Christ with His church) experiences it. The final triumph over the last enemy was assured by the death of Jesus Christ and His resurrection from the grave on the third day!
Many people are afraid of death because of the fear of the unknown, and the grave reminds them of their own mortality. Death is our ultimate enemy as it robs away our most cherished possession—life itself. When people are faced with the inevitability of their death and are given a certain time to live, many of them try to deny the obvious and ignore it in order to make it go away. However, God’s Word has never denied death as it boldly declares: "…it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment" (Heb. 9:27). The pages of the Bible are filled with accounts of death and dying, of both the godly and the ungodly people. Even God confronted the painful reality of death in the crucifixion of His Son, Jesus Christ!
However, the Bible also offers hope in the face of death by challenging death’s ultimate victory. Through the prophet Hosea, God promised that He would ransom His faithful people from the power of the grave: “I will redeem them from death” (v. 14). God was actually ridiculing the power of death and grave through His prophet Hosea, and only God could save Israel from its national extinction. After its judgment is complete, Israel will be redeemed and will bring forth fruits of repentance. This national repentance and restoration will finally be realized by Israel in the Millennium.
God’s Word has affirmed at least six times that death and grave will eventually lose its power over us:
- Even though Adam and Eve’s sin in the Garden of Eden allowed death to enter the world, God promised that the tempter who brought sin and death into the world would eventually be conquered by the “seed of the woman” - our Lord Jesus Christ (Gen. 3:14–15).
- The prophet Isaiah has promised that God will “swallow up death forever, and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from all faces” (Isa. 25:8).
- The prophet Jeremiah has spoken of God’s mercies, which are “new every morning”, and we can “hope in Him” because salvation comes from the Lord (Lam. 3:22–27).
- King David has prophesied about the resurrection of Jesus Christ: "For You will not leave my soul in Sheol, nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption" (Ps. 16:10)
- Apostle Paul echoed Hosea’s words when he rhetorically asked, “O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?” after which he added, “Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 15:55–57).
- Finally, Apostle John foresaw the end of death in his vision of a new heaven and new earth (Rev. 21:1), and makes the following statement: "And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away" (Rev. 21:4).