Tuesday, March 10, 2015
“Ephraim is joined to idols; let him alone” (Hosea 4:17 KJV).
Let us hear and follow these wonderful words of wisdom from Hosea of old!
As a Bible teacher, I assure you there is no greater thrill than to teach the precious words of God to open hearts, and to see those words work effectually in those who believe them (1 Thessalonians 2:13). Some people are so eager to hear the wonderful words of God that they will sit down and let you teach them for hours and hours on end. They are starving spiritually, and oh, how you are so burdened to give them as much spiritual food as possible! As someone starving would grab handfuls upon handfuls of food and force-feed themselves, these precious souls never seem to get enough verses. They make ministry so rewarding and delightful.
On the other hand, you get the exact opposite type of feedback from others as well. You could teach them God’s Word for years, but they have no interest in anything spiritual. As in the days of Jesus Christ’s preaching in the flesh, you will meet people who have “gross” (callous) hearts and ears “dull of hearing” (Matthew 13:15). Eventually, Jesus stopped preaching to national Israel, and confined His ministry to smaller crowds. He taught for three years and look how many Jews He converted—only 120 believers in Jerusalem in Acts 1:15!
In today’s Scripture, JEHOVAH God told the Prophet Hosea not to bother preaching repentance to Ephraim (the northern kingdom, Israel). After many decades of idolatrous kings, the nation was too far gone. The Assyrian armies were coming for Ephraim, God’s judgment was imminent, and they were beyond hope. “Hosea, do not waste your breath!”
What did Jesus say about the Pharisees who were offended by His preaching? “Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch” (Matthew 15:14). Paul wrote, “If any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant” (1 Corinthians 14:38). Once people resist us sharing the Bible with them, we need to move on instead of twisting their arms. Beloved, we need to use our time wisely, speaking to those who do want to hear! 🙂