A stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation that did not prepare its heart and whose spirit was not faithful to God. The sons of Ephraim were archers equipped with bows, yet they turned back in the day of battle. They did not keep the covenant of God and refused to walk in His law. (Psalm 78: 8a-10)
This passage, in context, from Psalm 78 describes the Tribe of Ephraim. God
Himself was angry with Ephraim, one of the tribes of the northern kingdom of Israel which sold out to false pagan gods until they were finally wiped off the map by the Assyrians. Hosea 5:9-10 says "Ephraim will become a desolation in the day of rebuke; among the tribes of Israel I declare what is sure...on them I will pour out My wrath like water". People in the west, who have 3-10 dusty bibles in their houses have no clue what any of this means. Even so, the question most people of Christian-life faith would have is "what does any of this 'Ephraim' stuff have to do with me, anyway?"
As we will, right as rain, find out on Judgment Day, it has everything to do with us. We are a people born for such a time as this, when the possibilities and potential of reaching the 'ends of the earth' are greater than they ever were. The Apostles and disciples from Bible-writing days would have longed to see days like these. These are times when we have Bibles galore in all forms - electronic; audio, video, book form, even magazine form. We have super-star multimedia ministries all over the place. Rock star preachers and "worship singers" and television empires masquerading as ministries all over the place. Still, the Body of Christ, in what was once the most Christian nation in the world - the United States is feckless, reckless and void of any passion, courage, knowledge or biblical discernment. We don't pray, study the Word and worse, those who know the Word of God and even spout platitudes to their millions of viewers worldwide weekly, would NOT even stand up for ANYTHING at ANY TIME.
The number of church leaders and clergy who stand for righteousness outside of the leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) and some Independent Bible (John MacArthur etc.), Assemblies and non-denominational churches may number less than 20% of the church in America. Credit men like SBC president Drs. Ronnie Floyd, Johnny M. Hunt, Robert Jeffress and power evangelists like Franklin Graham and Greg Laurie for standing up for Jesus, regardless. Christians around the world are being dehumanized and religious cleansing is happening over and over before our eyes, yet, apart from these courageous men, not one word of encouragement, or prayer or concern from the guys with the big national Christian TV shows etc. who have the reach and influence to ask millions to pray for Iraqi Christians, or the families of those left behind when Christian villages are burned in Nigeria or people are thrown into the Mediterean by the 'religion of peace', because they were praying to Jesus, the Savior of the World. The silence from those who can do something about it is deafening and in this way, they are exactly like the Ephraimites of Psalm 78:9. God has equipped them with everything at His disposal. The church in America and the west could not be more blessed with riches, buildings, electronics, comfort and good food. Yet, we do nothing with it. We pack up our picnic baskets, dust off the blanket, say we would "pray for ...(fill in the blanks), never do...and walk over to Starbucks for a latte. God help us.
It is time to stop writing books about "Your Best Life Now" and starting preaching repentance, prayer and perseverance of the saints. Any real Christian knows our best life is not NOW, but the one to come!!!
It is time to stop worrying about $65 million state of the art jets and $5000 suits and start reading the Book of Romans to get your mind back on the sinful nature of man, and why Grace is all we need and actually have.
It is high time to stop being ashamed of the Gospel as if it is something to be twisted and manipulated to conformed to the corrupt debased culture of the day.
it is also high time to stop worrying about what political leaders ought to do because why are we surprised when lost people act like lost people? We need to worry about what WE are not doing for which we will answer one day!
Should we ignore the warning, which Hosea went on to give to Israel in Hosea 6:1-2, the church in general will face a terrible time when the Books are open on the "day of Rebuke" (Hosea 5:9). There is still time, but it will require the men and women of God, who are all in for Jesus in these last days, to stand up and say:
1 “Come, let us return to the Lord.
For He has torn us, but He will heal us;
He has [a]wounded us, but He will bandage us.
2 “He will revive us after two days;
He will raise us up on the third day,
That we may live before Him.
3 “So let us know, let us press on to know the Lord.
His going forth is as certain as the dawn;
And He will come to us like the rain,
Like the spring rain watering the earth.” (Hosea 6:1-3)