Let Him Alone
Ephraim is joined to idols: let him alone. ~Hosea 4:17
Sometimes, a little child throws a temper tantrum. As part of his correction, his parents might leave him alone for a little while so that he understands what he did was not pleasing to them. Our passage for this morning is one of the saddest verses of the Bible. It centers on the tragic consequences of living an unrepentant and sinful lifestyle. In this verse, God said to have nothing to do with Ephraim, or Israel, because of its idolatry. God said, “Let him alone.”
There is the description.
“Ephraim is joined to idols.” God is a jealous God. He demands nothing less than our complete love and devotion. Repeatedly, God told Israel that they were not to have any other gods before them. To do so would invoke the chastening hand of God upon them. Ephraim was guilty of having golden calf worship at Bethel and Dan. The people would go to the destination nearest them to worship. In addition, they allowed the influence of the idol-worshipping nations around them to affect them. They established “high places” where these inanimate and lifeless idols were worshipped. However, the verse says that Ephraim joined itself to idols. The idea is that they became as if they were married to them.
There is the defilement.
Being joined to idols meant that Israel was enflamed with the continuous and repeated worship and sacrifices associated with these idols. Their thinking and devotion was polluted. They accepted as normal the devilish practices of the idol-worshipping nations that they mimicked. The worship of God became watered down, passionless, and, eventually, nonexistent. Israel had defiled and polluted themselves. They were corrupt in their thinking. They accepted the sacrifice of their children to Molech. They worshipped the queen of heaven as the pagans did. They carried God’s name but lived like the pagans. Immorality was rampant, divorces happened more regularly, and irreverence towards God became a norm.
There is the desertion.
God said, “Let him alone.” God essentially said: “Have nothing to do with Israel. You can’t help him. Don’t pray for him. Don’t get close to Israel." Israel was at the place where its influence from idol worship was corrupting others. Can you imagine being so corrupted in sin that the Lord would say, “Let him alone”?
The lesson for us to learn in this is that we can become so backwards in our sin that God might have to leave us alone. When God leaves us alone, we are more prone to attacks from Satan. When God leaves us alone, our prayers cannot be answered. When God leaves us alone, our lives are fruitless and powerless. When God leaves us alone, we live in restlessness and anxiety. When God leaves us alone, we are on the fast track to failure.
Being left alone is not a good thing. Don’t allow your spiritual life to decline to the point where God says, “Let him alone.” Confess the sin of idolatry, forsake it, and draw near to God.
Have a Christ-honoring God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: 1 Samuel 28-31