February 20, 2011

Minor Prophets XVIII: Mortis Unemploymentus

“I will deliver this people from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death. Where, O death, are your plagues? Where, O grave, is your destruction? “I will have no compassion...Hosea 13:14

What is the OT fulfillment of v 14? What is the NT fulfillment?

As for the OT fulfillment I would have to say it is in the form of Assyrian conquest for Israel’s refusal to return to God and their subsequent punishment. We must keep in mind that punishment from God is not because He hates His people but it is because He does love them. God’s punishment is a manifestation of God’s love.

There is a problem here if I just go for the easier answer or interpretation of this for the New Testament which would be the salvation paid for by Christ at the cross (v.14a). In context Hosea tone changes dramatically in here between v.14a and v.14b. We see allusion to Jesus (v.14a) and Paul (v.14b) when Paul mocks death in:

1 Corinthians 15:55-57, “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

In Hosea’s context the last line of Hosea seems to put a kink in this, “I will have no compassion…”. If we read the verse leading up to v.14 we know that Hosea is referring to judgment not victory over an/the enemy (death). So the question is: Does this really get fulfilled in the New Testament? It does if we view the Father punishing the Son which rightfully should’ve been placed on the sinner as a form of love.

Wiersbe, Warren W.. "Hosea: Chapter 3: Love So Amazing." The Bible Exposition Commentary-Old Testament-The Prophets. 1. print. ed. Colorado Springs, Colo.: Victor, 2001. 329. Print.

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