Moth or Lion?

Christian Devotional by Pastor Cecil Thompson

Hosea 12:12-14

“I am like a moth to Ephraim, like rot to the people of Judah. When Ephraim saw his sickness, and Judah his sores, then Ephraim turned to Assyria, and sent to the great king for help. But he is not able to cure you, not able to heal your sores. For I will be like a lion to Ephraim and a great lion to Judah. I will tear them to pieces and go away; I will carry them off, with no one to rescue them.”

Sometime ago I was watching an episode of “Cops.” It was extremely interesting since it recorded the actual voice of a man calling 911 to report a break-in at his house. He had been asleep when he heard a window break and his security alarm go off. He said he had a shotgun in his hand, and was on his way to the kitchen to see if anyone had entered.

Carrying his gun and cordless phone, he approached the kitchen. He suddenly yelled that “it” was in the house. It was hard to tell what “it” was until he had a chance to regain his composure. “It” turned out to be a bob cat.

The wild creature had been frightened by his dogs and had smashed through the window to escape from them, and was now growling in a threatening manner from his kitchen counter. The police arrived and were just as scared as the homeowner. (Cops tremble too you know!). Finally an animal control officer arrived to snare the animal and remove it from the house.

Today’s Scripture in the book of Hosea, shows how God deals with His people. Ephraim, mentioned here, refers to the Northern Kingdom of Israel, while Judah refers to the Southern Kingdom. Both were guilty of turning their back on God and forgetting His law.

As often as I read, or think back on this Scripture, I think of how God hates those who stray away from His will for their lives. It applies to us today, who accept Christ as the Lord of our life, and then drift away from Him into sin and transgression.

God desires to be a moth to us. A moth or butterfly may flutter about one’s head and be an irritation, but it causes no harm. It does not bite, scratch, inject venom, or any such thing. It only attracts our attention. The lion on the other hand, is much more dangerous. Daniel spent the night at “Lion’s Inn,” and lived to tell about it. When his accusers checked in they became lion chow! (See Daniel 6:16-24).

God desires to attract our attention and draw us back to him.

I heard a story of a man who went away from God. He was guilty of having an affair with another woman. The elders in his church confronted him, but he told them it was his business and refused to respond to their call for repentance.

He lost not only his wife and family, but went into alcoholism and drug addiction. His life became more and more chaotic. It grew worse as the years passed. After some fifteen years, he came back to the elders of his church and confessed his utter sinfulness and asked to be restored.

These men worked with him and prayed with him and spent months in God’s Word with him. He was sure that he had completed his restoration, but then he was notified that he was to meet with the church Governing Council one more time. It was to be at the home of the pastor the next evening. He agreed.

As he entered the house he was greeted with a cheer. A new jacket was placed on his shoulders and a new gold ring on his finger. As he was led into the back yard he saw the barbeque was fired up with a fragrant aroma coming forth from—you guessed it—It was a fatted calf!

God sends His conviction, as a fluttering butterfly. He can allow the lions of our own sinfulness to tear into us, but He is always the picture of the Father of the prodigal waiting for our return. Oh, how I love a God who loves us so much!

Blessings dear hearts. Walk with God today. Trust Him completely and become a real blessing.

— Pastor Cecil

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