For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans
Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome.
Do not rejoice, O Israel, with joy like other peoples,
For you have played the harlot against your God.
You have made love for hire on every threshing floor.
The threshing floor and the winepress
Shall not feed them,
And the new wine shall fail in her.
They shall not dwell in the LORD’s land,
But Ephraim shall return to Egypt,
And shall eat unclean things in Assyria.
They shall not offer wine offerings to the LORD,
Nor shall their sacrifices be pleasing to Him.
It shall be like bread of mourners to them;
All who eat it shall be defiled.
For their bread shall be for their own life;
It shall not come into the house of the LORD.
What will you do in the appointed day,
And in the day of the feast of the LORD?
For indeed they are gone because of destruction.
Egypt shall gather them up;
Memphis shall bury them.
Nettles shall possess their valuables of silver;
Thorns shall be in their tents.
The days of punishment have come;
The days of recompense have come.
The prophet is a fool,
The spiritual man is insane,
Because of the greatness of your iniquity and great enmity.
The watchman of Ephraim is with my God;
But the prophet is a fowler’s snare in all his ways—
Enmity in the house of his God.
They are deeply corrupted,
As in the days of Gibeah.
He will remember their iniquity;
He will punish their sins.
Once again it is striking how we can substitute America for Israel and the shoe fits. O that it wasn’t so!! The believer can take comfort in knowing they do not face personal judgment; there is redemption found for us at the cross, forgiveness and new life. However, we are reminded that we live in the world even though we are not of it.. The old adage, ‘it rains on the just and the unjust’ applies. When we are treated as the prophets of old
“…the prophet is considered a fool, the inspired man a maniac…”
we can rise above the hostility knowing it is not surprising but to be expected in a hostile land. We answer to God, not mankind. We will find opposition even in the church!
“…hostility [awaits] him in the house of his God…!”
The place we go to, to seek comfort, is often where we receive judgment and hostility, from those who are invested in self rather than God.
Other translations cast a different light on this passage: The prophets and spiritual men were considered snares, fools and insane due to the corruption in their ranks. Israel knew this and could not come to the place of worship to find knowledge of the ways of God. The same could be said today and the general population knows this and holds the ‘church’ in scorn for their actions and teachings that stray from the word.
Let us not follow the paths of so many, paths that lead way from God. Let us be found faithful to the God of His word. Let us seek him and know him.