TRYING TO BE TOO NICE

Let Israel know this!  The prophet is a fool, the inspired man is demented because of the grossness of your iniquity and because your hostility is so great.  Ephraim was a watchman with my God, a prophet; yet the snare of a bird catcher is in all his ways.  Hosea 9:7-8

            Listen to this passage from THE MESSAGE.  Did Israel bluster, “The prophet is crazy!  The ‘man of the Spirit’ is nuts!”?  Think again.  Because of your great guilt, you’re in big trouble.  The prophet is looking out for Ephraim, working under God’s orders.  But everyone is trying to trip him up.  He’s hated right in God’s house, of all places.

            I’m writing to the prophets; those of you who speak the word of the Lord faithfully.  Perhaps you’re paying a price.  When those you preach to are in prosperity, they repel a message that calls for repentance and cross-bearing.  It seems that unless there is tribulation, the ears of most listeners are closed.  Jesus predicted this.

            Be courageous.  Remember the many faces of Jesus.  He loved.  He healed.  He touched.  But He also spoke to the resistant faces of the religious leaders of His day and caused an explosion.  He spoke less than two paragraphs and they picked up stones; so searing and focused was the Truth.  In those situations, Jesus did not deliver the soft words of a Healer.  His words fell like a sword. (Isaiah 49)  His passionate teaching tore asunder religious pretension and everyone who heard Him felt exposed.  Their vulnerability was expressed through rage.

            May God overshadow you with grace today; grace to stand in the fire.  Do not tweak the message to make it more palatable.  The Gospel has not changed; the call to discipleship remains ever fervent.  Do not let anyone rob you of your passion.  You are the watchman on the wall, standing guard over the bride of Christ lest they go astray.  Your post calls for vigilance and fire.  God didn’t save us to make us ‘nice’.  He saved us to be like Jesus.

Make me a lamp, burning and shining.  I walk in the footsteps of John the Baptist and make a straight path for Your coming.   Amen

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