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…
Different interpretations are possible of this majestic language. According to one view, these words express the resolution of the righteous King and Judge to let the powers of death and destruction loose upon apostate Israel. According to another view, they express a determination, at some future time and upon Israel's repentance, on God's part to destroy the powers of destruction and to secure for his people an everlasting salvation. Regard the great truths common to both interpretations.
I. DEATH AND THE GRAVE ARE BUT CREATURES AND MINISTERS OF THE ETERNAL. There is apparent among men a tendency to attribute to the forces of destruction an independent power, to regard death as a natural and necessary law of being. But the fact is otherwise; these are only agents used for a temporary and governmental purpose by the Lord of the universe.
II. DEATH AND THE GRAVE ARE TERRIBLE ONLY TO THE ENEMIES OF GOD. To such as resist and defy Divine authority it must needs be a depressing and terrible thought, that their power will speedily come to an end, and they leveled in the dust. But God's people need have no fear of their Father's messengers.
III. DEATH AND THE GRAVE HAVE BEEN ALREADY POTENTIALLY VANQUISHED BY THE LORD JESUS CHRIST. The Apostle Paul makes use of this language in expounding the Christian doctrine of the Resurrection, and sanctions the application of the language of Hosea to the triumph of the Divine Redeemer, when he arose from the dead and abolished death, and became the Firstfruits of them that sleep. The words are in this connection precious and consolatory to the Christian mind.
IV. DEATH AND THE GRAVE, WHEN THEY HAVE FULFILLED THEIR DIVINELY APPOINTED PURPOSE, SHALL FOREVER CEASE TO BE. "The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death." The destroyer's turn shall come; the grave shall itself be buried; death shall itself be slain. From all fear of mortality the glorified saints shall be eternally delivered. And God shall be forever glorified in the reign of imperishable life. - T.
Parallel VersesKJV: I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction: repentance shall be hid from mine eyes.