Plunging into the Pit
When I was about five, I was playing out on the front lawn of the Word of Life Inn in the Adirondacks. There was an old door that I could barely open, but I did, and then I slipped. It was an old well house—a hole in the ground about six feet deep. The heavy wooden door slammed behind me as I tumbled down the rickety stairs. I started yelling, but no one answered.
I discovered from personal experience that pits are dark and dangerous. So when Hosea talks about a “pit in Shittim” and how it will trap, especially the unsuspecting religious and political leadership in Israel, I feel it in my gut.
“Hear this, O priests! Heed this alert, O house of Israel! O court of the king, use those ears! For the judgment is against you! Indeed, you’ve been a snare at Mizpah, a net spread out on Tabor, a pit at Shittim that they dug deep; but I will discipline all of them.” Hosea 5:1-2
In old Israel, the priests were responsible for teaching God’s revealed standards for living and the king was responsible for administering God’s justice if the commands were disobeyed. The irony is that in the closing prosperous days of Jeroboam II the national leaders responsible for justice and judgment had become the criminals. Before the true Judge pours out his judgment on the judges, he raises his voice, calling for them to listen.
Powerful people think they can live above God’s Law. They think they don’t have to listen when he speaks, but they do. We all do. And we need to pay attention before we get snared like a stupid bird in a trap or fall into the pit of God’s judgment. Leaders are supposed to be good examples for others, but when they are not, they become a pit and snare.
LORD, help me to realize that when leaders in business, church, or government lie, display vicious anger, murder, and act immorally with no evidence of repentance, they will not escape your justice. You will make them pay for the snares they placed to entrap others. I pray for your Spirit to open the door and let some light in before it’s too late.
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