Destroyed Sinners Finding Help in God
Hosea 13:9
O Israel, you have destroyed yourself; but in me is your help.

God's eye sees at once all events, past, present, and future. Hence He saw Israel labouring under the woes which He had threatened. He saw them scattered and peeled and eating abundantly of the fruit of their own devices, and He tells them that the blame was all their own. Israel, in coming under the stroke of Divine vengeance, fell a victim to her own rebellion and obstinacy. Yet God did not cease to pity them. God had first threatened Israel. Then He views her as overwhelmed by His judgments. He blames her for having brought them upon herself. He laments over her. He opens anew the door of hope, by declaring "in Me is thine help."


1. They do so by departing from God, whose favour is their only safety. Apart from God there is no security for man. The world may pretend to throw over him the shield of its protection, but it will prove as the spider's web before the wrath of offended heaven. The favour of God is a strong tower, to which the righteous run and are safe. But unregenerate men have turned their backs upon this hiding-place and rock of defence. They are utterly destitute of an asylum as long as they disregard the favour of God. And this destitution is chargeable wholly on themselves; because God has graciously used all kinds of agencies in order to influence them.

2. By indulging in sin, which is ruinous in its very nature. We argue the nature of a thing from its uniform effects. If we find sin always pouring forth streams of misery, we say it is ruinous in its very nature. Wherever sin has trod with unholy foot, there misery in some form and degree has been spreading its withering and deadly influences. Test sin by what it did to the Lord Jesus. See what it has done to man as a race. It has scattered desolation, mourning, and woe, over the face of the whole earth.

3. By exposing themselves to the destructive judgments of God. God has armed Himself against sin with righteous but fearful judgments. Many of these overtake the sinner during his earthly career. All the miseries which come upon men in time are only the first-fruits of the abundant harvest of wrath, which those shall reap who continue to sow to the flesh.

4. By refusing to obey the Gospel, which brings the only remedy for their miseries. Notwithstanding all His wrath against sin, God has set before sinners an open door of escape from its guilt and consequences. The sinner can close this door against himself by rejecting the Gospel of God's Son. And there is no other way of escape than that God has provided. Sometimes the sinner sets himself to work out a righteousness of his own. Sometimes he comes after the Lord has arisen and shut to the door.

II. WHERE HELP IS FOUND FOR US IN GOD. There are many quarters in the Divine character to which we need not look for help. None is to be found in His absolute holiness; or His absolute justice; or His absolute power; or His absolute and general mercy.

1. There is help for us in the gracious mercy, of God. By this we mean His free and undeserved compassion, exercising itself through Christ for the deliverance of lost sinners. Christ has removed all obstacles arising from the absolute holiness and justice, and the general mercy of God. Hence comes to us — along the channel Christ provided — the forgiving and sanctifying mercy of God.

2. There is help for us in the gracious power of God. God's power, in Christ, is the strong arm sent down from above to draw the sinner from the depths of sin and misery. It is the mighty energy by which his heart is changed, his nature reversed, and by which he is drawn to the Saviour. It is the mighty rod by which God breaks the power of sin in the believer. It is the storehouse out of which God gives the believer strength to perform the duties assigned to him. It is the house of defence in which the believer may obtain protection from every calamity.

3. There is help in the gracious faithfulness of God, whose promises are so numerous and so varied as to suit all our wants and circumstances. The ground on which a man may lay hold on these promises is the faithfulness of God in Christ.

4. In short, there is help for us in the all-sufficiency of God. Learn how lamentable it is that we should have destroyed ourselves. And what reason we have for praising God with all our hearts. If God had not said, "In Me is thy help," where would we have been?

(A. Ross, M. A.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself; but in me is thine help.

WEB: You are destroyed, Israel, because you are against me, against your help.

Christ, the Sinner's Refuge
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