By Elizabeth Prata
The verse in Hosea is a promise from the Lord to Israel, also called Ephraim and Judah (northern and southern kingdom)
Ephraim is oppressed, crushed in judgment, for he is determined to follow worthless idols. Therefore I am like a moth to Ephraim, And like rottenness to the house of Judah. (Hosea 5:11-12)
If God would crush his elect, blessed, and beloved nation, would He do less to America when we do the same as Israel- reject Him and rebelliously pursue idols and revel in widespread sin?
Matthew Henry’s Compete Commentary on the Bible explains just what is happening in the Hosea verse:
Note, An easy compliance with the commandments of men that thwart the commandments of God ripens a people for ruin as much as any thing. And the punishment of the sequacious disobedience (lacking independence or originality of thought) answers to the sin; for it is for this that Ephraim is oppressed and broken in judgment, has all his civil rights and liberties broken in upon and trodden down;
He would begin with less judgments, which should sometimes work silently and insensibly (v. 12): I will be (that is, my providences shall be) unto Ephraim as a moth; for it is such a sickness as Ephraim now sees, v. 13.
Note, The judgments of God are sometimes to a sinful people as a moth, and as rottenness, or as a worm. The former signifies the little animals that breed in clothes, the latter those that breed in wood; as these consume the clothes and the wood, so shall the judgments of God consume them. (1.) Silently, so as not to make any noise in the world, so as they themselves shall not be sensible of it. They shall think themselves safe and thriving, but when they come to look more narrowly into their state, shall find themselves wasting and decaying. (2.) Slowly, and with long delays and intervals, that he may give them space to repent. Many a nation, as well as many a person in the prime of its time, dies of a consumption. (3.) Gradually, God comes upon sinners with less judgments, so to prevent greater, if they will be wise and take warning; he comes upon them step by step, to show he is not willing that they should perish. (4.) The moth breeds in the clothes, and the worm or rottenness in the wood; thus sinners are consumed by a fire of their own kindling.
End Matthew Henry’s commentary on the whole Bible: complete and unabridged in one volume (pp. 1474–1475).
It seems as though there has been a fast disintegration in some western nations. Australia and Canada are filled with draconian measures against a 99.7% survivable flu, ravaging its people to a frustrating degree. The people are crying out against the tyrants but the worm and moth have done their work. The tyrants are standing firm on their tyranny.
In the United States there are still some bright spots, but many low spots. The darkness in the US seems to be spreading and the nation’s vaunted civil liberties and staunch foundation of freedom and law & order seem to be eking away day by day. This has also been the worm and the moth. God has wrought His work in judgment, silently, steadily, until when exposed to the light, the garment is shredded with moth holes and will not stand.
When we read of judgment in the Bible, we focus on ‘big’ obvious judgments; the invading armies, the Babylonian captivity, the brimstone falling on Sodom and Gomorrah, or the Tribulation judgments- all of which are obvious signs of God’s displeasure.
But there are silent judgments too. The worm and the moth judgments are silent. Another silent judgment is the wrath of abandonment, as I wrote yesterday and is explained in Romans 1:18-32. When “God gave them over” to their sin. He lets go His divine restraint on whole societies and allows a people to pursue headlong into deeper sin as they had desired.
It’s obvious the United States is under judgment. Things will get worse, not better. Sin always gets worse, and without the Lord’s restraining hand upon it, a society will devolve into “all manner of wickedness” as Romans 1:29 shows.
Australia is building at Wellcamp “a regional quarantine facility” in order to “keep the Delta variant out of Queensland”. Can you keep a germ out of a land 2 and a half times bigger than Texas? No. Where there are people there are germs, viruses, and sickness. It’s insane to try and obstruct a virus, but tyrants are trying to do it anyway.
It is reported that any US military personnel objecting to taking the mandated sh.ot will need to be “re-educated” via “counseling“.
Camps, brainwashing, pressure, shrinking civil liberties, darkness. Could the news get any worse? Yes, and it will. Sin makes it so and the Bible shows it so.
But we have GOOD NEWS. Here is where the Gospel comes in. Will we be cheerful only when we are prosperous? Will we shine the light of Jesus only when we are free? Will we be joyful only when we enjoy life the way we want it? Will we concentrate on Jesus only when it is easy and not when it is hard?
On September 12, 1962, President John F. Kennedy made a speech at Rice University about why he set a goal of putting a man on the moon and returning him safely to earth before the decade was out. Here is a 2 minute clip of that speech,
If JFK urged Americans to do the hard things because we are willing to accept challenges, because we are unwilling to postpone, because the hard things are the best measure of our energies and skills, then what are we to be like as Christians?
We have ALL energy- in the Holy Spirit who never tires and never wanes. We can surmount hard challenges because we have Christ who gives us the strength to do all things. The best measure of our salvation is our perseverance, the best hope is our future home, the best truth is that we are eternally loved.
I know it’s a tall order, having to adjust to the new normal quickly. Our hearts and minds may be slow to catch up to what our eyes see and read.
One way I like to maintain perspective besides bathing in the Bible, is to read of others in the faith who had it worse than I do. And there is always someone who had it worse, no matter how bad things are where you are now. Betsy ten Boom found joy and gratitude for the fleas in her Nazi barracks (because the plethora of fleas plaguing the internees kept the guards away- so she could share the Bible more freely with her bunkmates). Am I dipped in tar and lofted above a garden and put alight for a tyrant’s illumination as the 1st century Christians were in Nero’s garden? Am I tortured for Christ? Am I jailed, or being martyred? No. And when it’s not, I can tap into Christ through prayer and His word and remember His promises.
Everything we do is FOR HIS GLORY.
Focus on the joy in meeting with the saints, if you are doing that. Focus on the fact that in the US we still have access to Bibles and can share the Gospel with anyone.
But believers say: Christ already did the hard thing. He did it all. He did it for us. The only thing we must do is be faithful, persevere, give Him glory, and be patient for our moment to be called home.