” ‘Strangers have devoured his strength, and he knoweth it not. yea, gray hairs are here and there upon him, yet he knoweth not. ‘ (Hosea 7:9)
“One of the saddest dramas in human experience is the sight of a proud and confident leader who does not realize that his once-vaunted powers have deserted him and he now appears merely weak and foolish. Mighty Samson, with his locks shorn was a sad example of such tragic ignorance. ‘And he wist not that the LORD was departed from him’ (Judges 16:20), so the Philistines put out his eyes and bound him with chains. So it was with the once-mighty people of Israel in the days of their deep apostasy. Hosea described their distressing condition in the graphic words of our text.
Many years later, God’s chosen people exhibited an even more tragic state of pompous ignorance. Their Messiah had come to them, and they didn’t know Him, even crucifying Him. God’s judgment couldn’t be delayed. ‘[They] shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation’ (Luke 19:44).
But perhaps the most tragic case is the church in Laodicea. This church represents all those outwardly prosperous evangelical churches that attempt to take a neutral stance on the basic conflicts of the last days. The one who is ‘the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God’ (Revelation 3:14) will pronounce the awful judgment. ‘So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked’ ( vv. 16-17).
How urgently the people of God need to guard against the tragedy of arrogant ignorance! ” —Dr. Henry M. Morris
The foregoing devotional by Dr. Morris seems so very appropriate to our times. So it was with the ancient church of Laodicea, until Jesus was on the OUTSIDE of their door, bidding them to let Him back in to sup with them. That church, like so many churches since then, started well at it’s birth, but became full of what Dr. Morris calls “pompous ignorance.”
In our own time, the first tragic sign of compromising our testimony is always “that attempt to take a neutral stance on the basic conflicts of the last days,” forgetting that the stand for Godly righteousness, whether it be a church, a city, a state, or a nation, is first of all individually. How many church pews today are occupied with used-to-be’s, but are now arm-folding, gray-headed has-beens, full of pride and “arrogant ignorance,” and “wist not that the Lord has departed” from them.
Jesus’ admonition to those seven churches of Asia was to do their first works over again. There is no indication at all that He ever changed His advice for any New Testament church. His vehicle to win souls has always been equipped with just one gear—reverse! It’s no secret formula, no elaborate, complicated seminar course. That’s why He had the New Testament written with all the vital details for everyone to read. It has never failed to do the job when the church goes back to it, and the church has always failed, and always will, when they don’t. –DA