The LORD maketh poor, and maketh rich: he bringeth low, and lifteth up.
1 Samuel 2:7
Read: Hosea 5:3-9
3 I know Ephraim, and Israel is not hid from me: for now, O Ephraim, thou committest whoredom, and Israel is defiled.
4 They will not frame their doings to turn unto their God: for the spirit of whoredoms is in the midst of them, and they have not known the LORD.
5 And the pride of Israel doth testify to his face: therefore shall Israel and Ephraim fall in their iniquity; Judah also shall fall with them.
6 They shall go with their flocks and with their herds to seek the LORD; but they shall not find him; he hath withdrawn himself from them.
7 They have dealt treacherously against the LORD: for they have begotten strange children: now shall a month devour them with their portions.
8 Blow ye the cornet in Gibeah, and the trumpet in Ramah: cry aloud at Bethaven, 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.
At the beginning of Ephraim’s history, Ephraim was God’s favourite and a symbol of blessing. In Genesis 48:20, Jacob pronounced these blessings on Ephraim:
“…In thee shall Israel bless, saying, God make thee as Ephraim and as Manasseh: and he set Ephraim before Manasseh.”
David also spoke about the blessings on Ephraim in Psalm 108:8. Without any doubt, Ephraim was indeed a beneficiary of divine blessings. But at some point in history, Ephraim became an object of ridicule (Jeremiah 7:15). How did Ephraim come to this state? The answer is in Hosea 4:17:
“Ephraim is joined to idols: let him alone.”
What is idolatry? Idolatry is the act of reverencing anything other than the Almighty God. It can take the form of esteeming your culture, race, idea, achievement, etc over and above the Almighty and His Word. Idolatry can also be an insatiable craving for the material things of this world (1 John 2:15-17). When you esteem your children, your cars or your educational qualifications so highly that you make them “no go areas” for the One who gave them to you in the first place, then you are guilty of idolatry. This was the undoing of King Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 4:30-33).
Idolatry is one of the archenemies of divine blessings. The Almighty God warned His people against idolatry in Exodus 20:3 saying:
“Thou shalt have no other gods before me.”
When the children of Israel became comfortable in the Promised Land, they joined themselves with the natives to worship their gods. For this reason, they suffered series of servitude under neighbouring kingdoms. At some point, they were even carried away into captivity by the Assyrians and Babylonians. A nation that had hitherto enjoyed divine blessings in the land flowing with milk and honey became slaves all over again because of their sin of idolatry. This was exactly what turned Ephraim’s divine blessings into a curse.
The word of the Lord is coming to you today to beware of idolatry. Put God first in all you think, say or do, and you will not be a victim of the sin of idolatry.
Father, today, I pull down every strange altar I have consciously or unconsciously erected to compete with You in my life, home, business or ministry, in Jesus’ Name.
May God Bless Nigeria, America And Israel And Take Care Of Us; May God Make His Face Shine Upon Us, And Be Gracious To Us; May The Lord Lift Up His Countenance Upon Us, And Give Us Peace, In Jesus Christ Name, We Pray! Amen!
May The Grace The Lord Jesus Christ, And The Love Of God, And The Fellowship Of The Holy Spirit Be With You All. Amen!