Crazy Fool or Wise Watchman?
“You’re crazy!” If you’re trying to present the Gospel at a street meeting, you expect to get some strong catcalls, but a pastor doesn’t expect this kind of response from his own people. Yet Hosea’s audience labeled him insane when he preached. Like a watchman seeing the first wave of an invading army, he tried to shout out the warning, but they mocked him instead and set traps to take him out.
“The prophet is a fool. The man of the Spirit is a madman.
Israel, you taunt like this because your sins are so great and your antagonism has hardened against God’s revelation. The truth is that the prophet is Ephraim’s watchman, God’s spokesman, yet the snares of a fowler await him everywhere he goes. Even in the house of his God there is persecution.
Ephraim has sunk deep into corruption, just as in the days of Gibeah. God will remember their wickedness. He will punish them for their sin.” Hosea 9:7b-9
Near the end of the period of the Judges a Levitical priest from the hill country of Ephraim was spending the night in Gibeah in the territory of Benjamin (Judges 19-21). That night violent men pounded on the door and demanded for the owner to bring out the stranger. They wanted to sexually abuse him. Instead, the Levite pushed his concubine outside, and the mob raped and abused her all night. At daybreak she crawled to the door. When her master got up, he almost stepped on her, and said, “Get up; let’s go!” When she didn’t respond, he put her on his donkey, went home, and then dismembered her body. He sent the pieces to each of the remaining tribes from Dan to Beersheba. They gathered to punish Benjamin for perpetrating such a heinous act and almost annihilated the tribe.
The Bible is hardly a moralistic book filled with sweet stories. It tells it like it is. In the time of Israel’s judges everyone did what was right in their own eyes and the result was rape, murder, and civil war. The people of Hosea’s day had fallen into the same pit of corruption and he had the courage to keep on warning them even when they called him an idiot and tried to kill him.
LORD, give me backbone like Hosea. Help me to be able to take some name calling. Give me courage to speak the truth even when the majority doesn’t buy it.
For more from Dave Wyrtzen please visit TruthEncounter.com!