Hosea 13:9-10 – “O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself; but in me is thine help. I will be thy king: where is any other that may save thee in all thy cities? and thy judges of whom thou saidst, Give me a king and princes?”
Think back on your recent behavior. What have you allowed yourself to be ruled by? Maybe you have become a bit too interested in making another dollar, driven almost solely by a desire to obtain greater wealth. Or have you gone out of your way to attract attention, constantly seeking validation from those around you and wanting nothing more than to be accepted? Has a longing to escape the boredom or the trouble of life led you to the sin of drunkenness?
We all do this. Whether it is greed, excessive desire for popularity, alcoholism, or any other besetting sin, it makes no difference. None of these things can save us. All are sinful and temporary – “vanity,” as Solomon might say. Yet we have no qualms about making these sinful behaviors our idols; we reject our true King and turn to our own devices. This is what Hosea means earlier in the chapter when he writes that we have made “idols according to [our] own understanding” (verse 2). The verses leading up to verse 9 make this a frightening passage for the unrepentant sinner. God reveals that He “will meet them as a bear that is bereaved of her whelps, and will rend the caul of their heart, and there will I devour them like a lion: the wild beast shall tear them” (verse 8). Thinking about such things is enough to bring us to our knees in shame and sorrow. We confess that Hosea’s words apply to us as much as they did to Israel, if not more so. We often have refused to repent and have tried to make our own decisions, choosing sin over God, destroying ourselves in the process.
But fret not, fellow Christian – in the midst of these clear reprimands and warnings, there is hope for the child of God. That hope is God Himself, as is laid out in verse 9 – “[He] is thine help.” Let us not collapse to our knees in self-pity, but in total confession to God of our own short-comings, acknowledging our complete reliance on the redemptive work of Christ. Having done so, let us ascend to the house of God tomorrow with joy; we may have spent the last six days destroying ourselves, but in the end, it matters not for the redeemed. Regardless of who or what you may have made your King as of late, the true King reigns, and by His work, we are made whole. Our help is in Him; thanks be to God!