on Hosea 13 :9
O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself - These evils come not by my immediate infliction; they are the consequences of thy own crimes. In the above terrifying figures of the ferocious beasts, the prophet only shows what they would meet with from the hand of the Assyrians in the war, the famine, and the captivity; God being represented as doing what he only permits to be done.
But in me is thine help - "Though thou hast destroyed thyself, yet in me alone can thy help be found" - Newcome. And others read, And who will help thee? reading מי mi, who, for בי bi, in me. Though this is countenanced by the Syriac, yet there is no evidence of it in any of the MSS. yet collated, nor do I think it to be the true reading.
on Hosea 13 :9
O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself, but in Me is thy help - This is one of the concise sayings of Hosea, which is capable of many shades of meaning. The five words, one by one, are literally, "Israel, thy destruction, for" or "that, in" or "against Me, in" or "against thy help." Something must be supplied any way; the simplest seems; "O Israel, thy destruction" is, "that" thou hast been, hast rebelled "against Me, against thy help" . Yet, in whatever way the words are filled up, the general sense is the same, that God alone is our help, we are the sources of our own destruction; and "that," in separating ourselves from God, or rebelling against Him who is our help until we depart from Him, who alone could be, and who if we return, will be, our help. The sum of the meaning is, all our destruction is from ourselves; all our salvation is from God. : "Perdition, reprobation, obduration, damnation, are not, properly and in themselves, from God, dooming to perdition, reprobating, obdurating, damning, but from man sinning, and obduring or hardening himself in sin to the end of life. Contrariwise, predestination, calling, grace, are not from the foreseen merits of the predestinate, but from God, predestinating, calling, and, by His grace, forecoming the predestinate. Wherefore although the cause or ground, why they are predestinated, does not lie in the predestinate, yet in the not-predestinated does lie the ground or cause why they are not predestinated."
"This saying then, 'O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself, but in Me is thy help,' may be thus unfolded;
Thy captivity, Israel, is from thee; thy redemption from Me.
Thy perishing is from thee; thy salvation from Me.
Thy death from thee; thy life from Me.
Thy evil from thee; thy good from Me.
Thy reprobation from thee; thy predestination from Me, who ever stand at the door of thy heart and in mercy knock.
Thy dereliction from thee; thy calling from Me.
Thy misery from thee; thy bliss from Me.
Thy damnation from thee, thy salvation and beatifying from Me."
For " many good things doeth God in man, which man doeth not, but none doeth man, which God endueth not man to do." : "The first cause of the defect of grace is from us; but the first cause of the gift of grace is from God." : "Rightly is God called, not the Father of judgments or of vengence, but the "Father of mercies," because from Himself is the cause and origin of His mercy, from us the cause of His judging or avenging."
"Blessed the soul which comprehendeth this, not with the understanding only, but with the heart. Nothing can destroy us before God, but sin, the only real evil; and sin is wholly from us, God can have no part in it. But every aid to withdraw us from sin, or to hinder us from falling into it, comes from God alone, the sole Source of our salvation. The soul then must ever bless God, in its ills and its good; in its ills, by confessing that itself is the only cause of its suffering; in its good, owning that, when altogether unworthy of it, God prevented it by His grace, and preserves it each instant by His Almighty goodness."
: "No power, then, of the enemy could harm thee, unless, by thy sins, thou calledst forth the anger of God against thee to thy destruction. Ascribe it to thyself, not to the enemy. So let each sinful city or sinful soul say, which by its guilt draws on it the vengeance of God."
This truth, that in Him alone is help, He confirms by what follows:
on Hosea 13 :9