Woe unto Ephraim
Isaiah 28:1 -
Woe to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim, whose glorious beauty is a fading flower, which are on the head of the fat valleys of them that are overcome with wine!
The Lord is continuing with the previous message on prosperity. In today's message He calls the people who run after prosperity as proud people, drunkards, people who try to glorify themselves, people with (spiritual) obesity and overcome with lust.
The word Ephraim means 'double ash-heap: I shall be doubly fruitful', a person who wants more than what God has planned in his life.
In yesterday's message I pointed 3 factors to those who pursue prosperity without godly purpose and those were: -
1) They do not trust God to supply their needs tomorrow
2) They cannot control their lust for pleasure
3) They desire their own glory.
To the first point the Lord is adding to the faithlessness and putting them as drunkards. A drunkard is a person overcome with another spirit. The Lord says these people do not just lack my spirit which has faith but they are filled with another spirit of this carnal world. So the first point becomes: -
1) People filled with another spirit
The Lord also adds 2 other factors to these people and they are: -
4) They are people of pride
5) They have spiritual obesity
After Satan was hit by greed the very next thing that hit him was pride. Greed is so interconnected to pride that at times it is difficult to separate the two. Pride is best described as a puffer fish. Things which are not according to God's plan for His Kingdom are just vain things and people who trust on these things are proud people. The Bible projects this factor as a rich man who collects wealth not realizing that he may not live tomorrow to enjoy it.
The fifth factor actually took me by surprise today. The Lord calls these people are a fat valley. These actually are 2 factors in one and cannot be separated.
Fat or obesity is due to 3 factors one is the dysfunction of the thyroid gland, the second is due to eating fatty or junk foods like fast food and the third is lack of exercise.
Everything originates or connects from the spirit world and manifests into the physical world. Christians having obesity do so due to these spiritual factors. I will take the second and third factor here (since these are short messages), spiritually fat people are those who love things like prosperity Gospel or live only on spiritual milk they do not eat solid food. The other factor is lack of spiritual exercise. In the real world exercise meaning lifting weights, stretching, running, doing routines etc. similarly in spiritual world we need to do the same. It is only when we take care of our spiritual person our physical being is in good health. Jesus is referred to a Lamb without blemish not just because He was without sin but also physically He never had any sickness. He was perfect in health because He was perfect inside.
People having spiritual obesity think they are growing but they do not realize they are actually spiritually going down and not growing, therefore the Lord uses the term valley here.
If we are among these people who crave for prosperity or even people who tend to desire increase without purpose, let take care of the 5 factors which the Lord points to today and overcome.
Even if we thirst for good things like knowledge of the Kingdom of God, to speak in tongues, healing people, wisdom, prophecy, discerning of spirits etc. and if these are desired for not for God's glory or for the expansion of the Kingdom of God then these can be cause of our fatness or will get us drunk with wine or cause us to work for our glory. It is not that we should not desire more of the Kingdom of God, in this world we are told to do with needs and in God's Kingdom we are to do exceedingly, but we should see our overall spiritual health while desiring exceedingly. It is like the harm eating without exercising does to the body.
Jesus put it very simple as ask everything according to the Father's will and according to the riches of His Kingdom. Another place He says to ask in His Name, if one understands what Jesus meant by in His Name then there is no way one can err.
[ Prayer Starter ]
Lord, help us control our desires not only the ones that long for things of this world but also those which desire things of your Kingdom. Help us know our purpose in your Kingdom and your plan in our lives so that we do exceedingly according to your will. Help us be sober in this world but desire of your Kingdom only according to your will and for your glory...
This prayer we make in Jesus' Name, Amen.
[ Reference Scriptures ]
1 Woe to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim, whose glorious beauty is a fading flower, which are on the head of the fat valleys of them that are overcome with wine!
2 Behold, the Lord hath a mighty and strong one, which as a tempest of hail and a destroying storm, as a flood of mighty waters overflowing, shall cast down to the earth with the hand.
3 The crown of pride, the drunkards of Ephraim, shall be trodden under feet:
4 And the glorious beauty, which is on the head of the fat valley, shall be a fading flower, and as the hasty fruit before the summer; which when he that looketh upon it seeth, while it is yet in his hand he eateth it up.
5 In that day shall the LORD of hosts be for a crown of glory, and for a diadem of beauty, unto the residue of his people,
6 And for a spirit of judgment to him that sitteth in judgment, and for strength to them that turn the battle to the gate.
7 But they also have erred through wine, and through strong drink are out of the way; the priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink, they are swallowed up of wine, they are out of the way through strong drink; they err in vision, they stumble in judgment.
8 For all tables are full of vomit and filthiness, so that there is no place clean.
1 John 5:14 - And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:
17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;
19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,
21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.
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