A Devotion for 23 October 2020 Anno Domini, the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
8 Blow ye the cornet in Gibeah, and the trumpet in Ramah: cry aloud at Beth-aven, after thee, O Benjamin. 9 Ephraim shall be desolate in the day of rebuke: among the tribes of Israel have I made known that which shall surely be. 10 The princes of Judah were like them that remove the bound: therefore I will pour out my wrath upon them like water. 11 Ephraim is oppressed and broken in judgment, because he willingly walked after the commandment. 12 Therefore will I be unto Ephraim as a moth, and to the house of Judah as rottenness. 13 When Ephraim saw his sickness, and Judah saw his wound, then went Ephraim to the Assyrian, and sent to king Jareb: yet could he not heal you, nor cure you of your wound. 14 For I will be unto Ephraim as a lion, and as a young lion to the house of Judah: I, even I, will tear and go away; I will take away, and none shall rescue him. Hosea 5:8-14
The title of this devotion may seem strange for the casual reader, but a deeper study of this text and others will reveal a judgment under which the modern world and particular nations are coming – in fact, are well on their way to be eaten away in silence and lack of awareness.
God uses a number of natural creatures to describe the divine nature in a manner which the mortal human being can grasp. In Hosea 13:7, God says: “As a leopard will I observe them (sinners).” On my last mission trip to Kenya a few years, I visited a zoo in Kenya in which were kept many vicious animals of the wild. On passing the caged pen of a leopard, I noted the leopard had its head turned aside from us and appeared to be asleep, but Bishop Job assured me that leopard was watching us intently. He said the leopard appears to close its eyes until its prey is too close to escape. “23 Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.” Jeremiah 13:23 Why can the leopard not change his spots? It is because his spots are on his skin even if you shave off the fur.
“7 Therefore I will be unto them as a lion: as a leopard by the way will I observe them: 8 I will meet them as a bear that is bereaved of her whelps, and will rend the caul of their heart, and there will I devour them like a lion: the wild beast shall tear them.” Hosea 13:7-8 The lion is persistent in his tracking of his prey. His eyes penetrate the darkness of night. He avenges with severe punishment any who harm him or his cubs. Once he launches his attack, there is no stopping the tearing and hurt he inflicts. That is much like our God of Judgment. We may feel that we have lost his pursuit for a time but comes the night and he strikes out with impunity. The revenge of the lion will scarcely be survivable. The bear, too, will often devour its victims alive. No reprobate will ever escape the wrath of God even if that wrath is delayed over time.
So, in the leading text, God gives a different example of his working among the lost that seems much more gradual than the retribution of the lion to its offender. The moth is tiny and harmless to man when it stands alone. But the example is not of man’s personal well-being, but his physical comfort and treasure. Like rust that eats away at our armor and conveyances, the moth eats away at our fine and presumptuous robes and fancy apparel. His favorite feats is upon velvets, fine wools, and silk. He does not force his way into the closet by physical violence. He enters unseen when the door is momentarily ajar. Silently, he eats away at the threads that hold the garment together. He devours large patches that renders our prideful garment of no use to impress. It is much like the social disease of America that, at first, go undetected but gradually is revealed when much damage has already occurred. Sin spoils the nation and the moth of desolation is God’s means of bringing judgment: “7 Behold, therefore I will stretch out mine hand upon thee, and will deliver thee for a spoil to the heathen; and I will cut thee off from the people, and I will cause thee to perish out of the countries: I will destroy thee; and thou shalt know that I am the LORD.” Ezekiel 25:7 The closet is our decadent churches; the garments are the erstwhile sinners that have gained preeminence therein.
You may believe the greatest danger in America comes from the propagandizing curricula of our public institutions of learning, or the radical elements pervading our streets, or drugs and alcohol abuse, or sexual sins and perversions; but these are only symptoms of a luke-warm church that has compromised on her duties to her Betrothed and sold away her doctrines for profit. It is the churches of America that are responsible for the horrible decline in morality and respect for constituted law in our nation. While the churches have burned with lust and permissiveness toward sin, her shepherds have, like Nero, fiddled away during the time.
The moth will not invade where the garments are kept clean, dry and free of dust and dirt. They prefer the closet of carelessness and disarray. The same is true of the abject sin that has entered into the heart of America owing to a failure of the churches to call sin by name and to label its progenitor as the devil himself.
The work of the moth is done in secret. So do the spoilers of a nation work secretly to erode the foundations of the city and church. God will often work secretly in preparation for his damning judgment, Remember Sodom and Gomorrah. Does any Christian in his right mind believe that God has overlooked the sins of America and forgotten his righteous judgment of Sodom? Sodom! A city whose very name has come to mean the salient and grievous sin for which the city was destroyed.
When the pillars of moral decency are being destroyed, the sinful society may believe that they are getting off scot free of the accountability for their apostasy. But God is working beneath the surface to cause their very sins to be the cause of their coming downfall. The moth will eat through the outer cover of a garment and imbed himself in the inner linings where his presence is kept unseen until immeasurable damage has occurred. The same is true of our blessed America. Who would have believed that the nation would have come to this immoral state of today at the end of the Second World War? Who would have believed the total disregard for compassion and value for human lives – especially the most innocent among us in a mere fifty years? Who would have believed the demeaning of the Holy Estate of Matrimony in such a manner as to mock the very substance of God’s first Institution at Eden?
The solution to our moral decay is almost too simple to repeat. “14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14 Please read this text carefully. Does it say that the whole nation must pray, repent and turn from their sins? No! It says “If my people, which are called by My Name!” If the churches of America will repent of their departures from truth and love and repent, prayerfully turning from their sins, then, and only then, will God heal our land.
This is what America needs above all else at this time. It is amazing that the solution for every social and moral ill of our nation finds solution in the Word of God; yet, that is the ONLY solution that is totally unacceptable to the hell-bent social engineers of our age. Wake up, America! Wake up, my brothers and sister! Face the music and the Ensign that should lead us out of bondage – the Lord Jesus Christ.