Having thus declared the cause of pollution, the prophet's next message was especially addressed to priest, people, and king. First to the priests and the king as elders, and consequently responsible, but to the people also as having been guilty of following the false lead. The message af firmed the divine knowledge of the condition of affairs. Ephraim had committed whoredom; Israel was defiled. Thus the outward doings and the inward condition were recognized. The inevitable judgment was announced.
Ephraim and Israel would stumble, Judah also. There would be a fruitless search after God when it was too late. The prophet then dealt more particularly with the judgment, and indicated a threefold method. The first would be by the moth and rottenness. These were already at work. They were the emblems of slow destruction.
Ephraim, conscious of their presence, had turned to Assyria for help. The second would be by the young lion, suggestive of the new character of strong, devouring judgment determined against the sinning people. The final method of judgment would be the most terrible of all-the withdrawal of God from His people, out of which afEliction the prophet declared they would seek His face.
the Week of Proper 21 / Ordinary 26