Tickle My Ears
“They hate him who reproves in the gate, and they abhor him who speaks the truth.”
During the time of Amos, the children of Israel were living very sinful lives. They had a front like they were religious, they assembled together and sung songs, they did sacrifices to God, but God saw their hearts and was sick of their sacrifices. God knew that the people oppressed the poor, rejected His laws, caused Nazirites to break their vows and they told the prophets to stop prophesying.
During this time, God called Amos out of the fields (he was a shepherd) to be His prophet, His spokesman to the people. Through Amos God rebuked the wicked nation, urging them repeatedly to repent so they might live. The problem is that people hate to be rebuked and don’t like to hear the truth; yet God often rebukes us because we are bent on sin.
To a sin loving world, the last thing it wants is someone to tell them that they are wrong and need to change. That is why we have so many false teachers today, telling people what they want to hear. We have seeker friendly Churches instead of God seeker Churches. We have Churches that are so into pleasing the people that they often compromise the truth to achieve their goal. Yet Paul said we can no longer be people pleasers or else we are NOT servants of Christ. (Galatians 1:10)
Jesus said woe unto you when all men speak well of you (Luke 6:26), but blessed are you when men revile you for His name (Matthew 5:11, 12). Therefore, if the message you are preaching makes a sinful, self-centered world happy with you, you have a big problem. Read the Old Testament, and the New; every time God sends a prophet to speak truth they are disliked, but the false prophets are the ones saying to a sinful people, “God will bless you, no harm is coming”, and they are always more numerous. It is the genuine servants of God who speak truth to the people and usually suffer for it. Jeremiah was the weeping prophet because he grieved over the condition of God’s people, he was punched in the face, thrown into a pit and had very few friends. It was Isaiah who wrote so beautifully about the future Messiah yet was sawn in two at his death. People hate truth, but we must hear it, for it is the truth that sets us free.
So also we are told that in the last days, people will no longer listen to sound doctrine, but will heap up teachers who tickle their ears. Nevertheless, God charges you who are godly to preach the word in season and out, to rebuke, exhort and correct using the Scriptures, doing it with long suffering (2 Timothy 4:1- 5)
I encourage you who love the Lord: stand for the truth, even if no one else stands with you. Remember that while Stephen was being stoned to death for rebuking the Lords enemies, Jesus Himself stood up at the right hand of the Father. Jesus will also stand with you as you do what is right; and if God is for you, who can be against you??
With love in Christ Jesus, Jonathan Ball
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Tickle My Ears