Tuesday after Judica
Scripture: Hosea 13:9-14 (NKJV)
13:9 “O Israel, you are destroyed, but your help is from Me.
10 I will be your King; Where is any other, that he may save you in all your cities? And your judges to whom you said, ‘Give me a king and princes’?
11 I gave you a king in My anger, and took him away in My wrath.
12 “The iniquity of Ephraim is bound up; His sin is stored up.
13 The sorrows of a woman in childbirth shall come upon him. He is an unwise son, for he should not stay long where children are born.
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.”
“Judge me, O God!” This cry from the Introit for Judica causes one who ponders God’s Law to tremble as it is sung. There is none but Christ who could utter such a thing in an absolute sense!
“Deceitful,” “unjust,” and “ungodly” are all things that were true of us from the very moment of our conception, as King David would confess with us in Psalm 51:5! Worse, this is no excuse for the fact that our flesh still tends toward these things, deceiving itself and seeking to deceive the new man that the unrighteous things it desires will no longer offend God. So it is, as St. Paul details in Romans 7, that there is a war within our members. Were it not for the death of Christ—and the resurrection that proves His death completed the payment for sin—we would indeed be the most pitiable of all creatures because of this battle between the Old Adam and the new creation in Christ (1 Cor. 15:19)!
Yet, we make this plea for judgment and we make it boldly. We do so because what we were and what our flesh so often desires is not who we now are. Rather, we are the true Israel of the New Testament (Gal. 6:14-16), to whom God speaks through Hosea: “O Israel, you are destroyed, but your help is from Me.” He pledges to be our King and to save us, ransoming and restoring us from our place of rebellious wandering.
We pray: Heavenly Father, You promised to ransom us from the power of the grave, from our selling ourselves into death. We give thanks that You show no pity toward these, but are, through Christ, their plague and destruction for the sake of us sinners! Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.