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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

10/26/11 Hosea 9:7-9 When the Spirit-Led Seem Foolish

7 The days of punishment have come, the days of recompense have come;
Israel cries, "The prophet is a fool, the man of the spirit is mad!"
Because of your great iniquity, your hostility is great.
8 The prophet is a sentinel for my God over Ephraim, yet a fowler's snare is on all his ways,
and hostility in the house of his God. 9 They have deeply corrupted themselves
as in the days of Gibeah; he will remember their iniquity, he will punish their sins.

(left: Cross in Collosseum in Rome- commemorating persecuted Christians; right- Pastor Youcef Nadarkhan who converted to Christianity from Islam and sentenced to death in Iran)

Thoughts: When people drift far away, fueled by the desire to fulfill their fleshly lusts, things of the spirit seem absolutely crazy.  When our focus is only on this life, on this world, on the fulfillment of earthly feelings, then not only is our iniquity great, but our hostility toward anyone saying there is something different- something more- is great. Sin fuels hostility to the spirit, especially toward the spiritual leaders- like the prophets.  Spiritual things are seen as weird, crazy or mad, when our focus is only on this world.  Perhaps this explains the persecution of Christians and church leaders.  How many times on American television is a minister or priest seen as weird, sinful, or controlling?  Often the villain today is a minister, which is really a rare thing in society.  But God cares when His people are persecuted; when evil is called "good" and good is called "evil." The person of God is a watchman- a sentinel but people try to trap them.  Those who focus on the physical only, sometimes get physical with those who are focusing on the spiritual. God does not ignore such things.

Prayer: Lord, keep me from iniquity and from hostility to the spiritual.

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