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The Moth - 1

Beacon Baptist / Gregory N. Barkman
The Truth Network Radio
October 2, 2022 8:00 am

The Moth - 1

Beacon Baptist / Gregory N. Barkman

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October 2, 2022 8:00 am

Pastor Jim Orrick speaks of God's work through the moth. This is the first of five messages in the series God's Surprising Servants.

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Please open your Bibles again to Isaiah chapter 51. It's a great joy to be back with you again. We really loved it when we were here two years ago. And so when I got the call a few weeks ago from Pastor Barkman asking me to return, I really accepted and Carol was very excited that we were coming back. I have had a very blessedly busy summer and have already used up all the days that my church very generously allots me to preach at other places and be gone from the pulpit there at Bullet Lick Baptist Church. And so we had one week of vacation left. When Pastor Barkman asked to come, then we decided, well, we will use our last week of vacation to come and spend the time with you Saints here. And so that's just to give you some indication about how much we wanted to come and be with you.

We're using our last week of vacation to come and be with you. I appreciate the songs that were sung. I try to think what Greg was going through as he, your name is Greg, as he was singing. As he was trying to pick something to go along with the moth. And so you may have noticed that most of the songs this morning had a theme in them of things in nature are praising God. And the moth does praise God. He said, there's an extra of praise that resounds throughout eternity.

He said that the damned in hell will sound the bass notes in that great orchestral praise. So the moth, I'm going to say it's not something that is going to inspire, as it's presented in the Bible, it's not something that's going to inspire our hearts to joy and admiration, but rather to solemn contemplation. Although I say at the outset that I think moths are very beautiful. And I'm amazed at the almost unlimited variety of patterns and shapes of the moths that gather on a window where you have mistakenly left the light on all night. And sometimes see moths on the ground that have beaten themselves to death against a night light of some kind. And I can remember as a little boy just looking with wonder and awe at those great green Luna moths and those huge IO moths that seemed like they would always appear on the same, at the same night under the night lights at the home where I grew up. But now I'm not going to try to say look at the moth and then let your heart be lifted up with praise and glory to God.

This is a way of saying let's look with solemn contemplation about what is implied by the moth. Let me read the two verses that constitute my text and then give you a word of explanation. The pastor just read them a few minutes ago verses 7 and 8, Isaiah chapter 51 verses 7 and 8. Listen to me, you who know righteousness, this people in whose heart is my law. Fear not the reproach of man. Nor be dismayed at their reviling. For the moth will eat them up like a garment. And the worm will eat them like wool. But my righteousness will be forever. And my salvation to all generations.

Though this is a short text, my intention is to give an explanation of an even shorter segment just what is meant by the moth will eat them up like a garment. It won't be long until you have been a church for 50 years. And I'm sure during those 50 years you have heard C. H. Spurgeon quoted many times, Martin Lloyd-Jones quoted many times. I'm going to say that it's a pretty fair assumption that you have never heard Pink Floyd quoted from this pulpit. But I'm going to start off with quoting a song from Pink Floyd from their album of 1973.

Which I think was the same year this church was founded. And the Dark Side of the Moon. Now I'll be quoting Pink Floyd and a couple of other people who say many things that I do not approve of.

But I think this is a very thought provoking song to be produced by a rock and roll band. Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day, fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way. Kicking around on a piece of ground in your hometown, waiting for someone or something to show you the way.

Tired of lying in the sunshine, staying home to watch the rain. You're young and life is long and there is time to kill today. And then one day you find ten years have got behind you. No one told you when to run.

You missed the starting gun. And you run and you run. You run to catch up with the sun but it's sinking.

Racing around to come up behind you again. The sun is the same in a relative way but you're older. Shorter of breath. And one day closer to death. Every year is getting shorter. Never seem to find the time.

Plans that either come to naught or half a page of scribbled lines. Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way. The time is gone. The song is over.

Thought I'd something more to say. And I may be reading more profundity into this than is warranted by a rock and roll song but I gather in that last line the writer is saying not just that the song is over and I'm going to bring it to a conclusion but rather my life is over. And I say not just the day but frittered away his entire life and wasted. In the language of my text the moth has eaten his life. According to Strong's Concordance the word moth appears nine times in the Bible and the word moth eaten appears once.

We'll look at most of them this morning. I think that every time that the word appears it is used symbolically. Even if it is referring to a moth eaten garment it's written in such a way as to say we're not just talking about the destruction of clothing here. As I said moths are very beautiful but their larva are often destructive.

I may be wrong. Some of you entomologists can correct me later but I don't think moths eat. I think it's their larva that do the eating.

I may be wrong about that. By the way, the moth creature whether in larva or with its winged condition they eat food crops, they eat trees, they eat shrubs. I don't know about your part of the country but there are times when these bagworms will just get all over our shrubbery in Kentucky. My experience with moths besides outside the window and the destruction that they cause is when I open a bag of flour or a bag of cornmeal or some granola that hasn't been opened for a while and then outflutters some moths. It happened just a few days ago when we opened some dog treats that had not been used for a while and there were some moths that flew out of this container that had the dog treats in it. They mess with my life mostly because I keep bees. I usually keep about 12 or 15 hives of bees and if a hive of bees gets weak then the wax moths will move in and I don't think that the wax moths actually kill the bees but the hive just gets weaker and weaker and then the wax moths take over. And the wax moths are very destructive.

They eat parts of the wooden parts of the hive to make their little cocoons and then they just destroy. You almost have to burn a beehive if it has been totally taken over by moths. Their work, whether in clothing, which I'm sure is the way that most people have had experience with destructive moths, whether their work is in clothing or in a beehive or in the cupboard, you never wake up in the middle of the night and say, I think I hear some moths crunching away in the cupboard. I think, I heard something in the closet last night. I think the moths may be into my wool sweaters.

You just never, you never think like that because they are quiet. I believe that when the Bible uses the moth as a symbol for God's judgment that part of the terror of it is it happens so quietly. It's so effective in its destruction.

I think that the moth symbolizes the quiet, corrupting, time-wasting things that eat up our lives like moths. There are times when God's judgments are shocking and they are cataclysmic. God destroyed the old world with a flood, rained for 40 days and 40 nights. God rained down fire and brimstone on Sodom and Gomorrah.

Ah, now that's the kind of judgment that we think of that comes from God. When Korah led several people to revolt against Moses and against the Lord, the earth opened up and swallowed Korah and his followers. When a group of young men were making fun of Elisha saying, go up, thou bald head. There were two bears that came out of the woods and mauled many of those boys. Ananias and Sapphira were struck dead. God struck down King Herod with worms and he died. In AD 70, the destruction of Jerusalem is described in the Bible as the end of a world, the sun becoming black like sackcloth, the moon becoming like fire.

The moon becoming like blood and the stars of the sky falling to earth as when the fig tree is shaken by a winter gale. And those are the ways that we have a tendency to think of God's judgments coming. And it's no wonder that things like that get recorded in the Bible.

But most often God's judgments are mundane and quiet. I have you open to Psalm 51, but turn back just a page to Psalm 50 and you'll see another instance of this. We'll read verses 7, 8, and 9, although the phrase is in verse 9. Isaiah 50 verses 7, 8, and 9.

This is a messianic Psalm. But the Lord God helps me, therefore I have not been disgraced. Therefore I have set my face like a flint and I know that I shall not be put to shame. He who vindicates me is near. Who will contend with me? Let us stand up together. Who is my adversary?

Let him come near to me. Behold, the Lord God helps me. Who will declare me guilty? Behold, all of them will wear out like a garment. The moth will eat them up. So similar to my text in Isaiah 51, here in Isaiah 50, again the prophet asserts, my enemies who are resisting me are going to be eaten up by a moth.

The bears are not going to come out of the woods growling and ravaging them, but the moth is going to eat them up. In Hosea chapter 5 and verse 12, the Bible says, but I am like a moth to Ephraim and like dry rot to the house of Judah. You probably have had experience with dry rot, maybe on your bicycle tires, maybe on your car tires.

On a car or a bicycle that doesn't get used very much, the rubber or whatever tires are made from begins to dry out and it becomes unsafe. It just happens very quietly. And the Lord says, I am like a moth to Ephraim and like dry rot. His judgments come quietly. They come slowly. Let's consider how the moth works.

I've already mentioned several things about it. He does work silently. His presence is unannounced and unnoticed usually until it's too late. It's usually when the moth has already destroyed a beehive that I find it. Occasionally I'll go shopping for things in thrift stores and find a really nice cashmere sweater. I can't believe somebody gave this to the thrift store and then I hold it up to the light and the moth has been at work. That's why they gave it away to the thrift store.

Of course, they would have protected it. If you are like I am, it seems like your grandparents' house always smelled like mothballs. I think they were far more careful about preserving their clothing and their blankets than we are.

Things were not as easily accessible to them as they are to us. But they want to keep the moths out because the moth works silently and before you know it, then his silent work has destroyed something that you didn't want to be destroyed. That's the way that the moth of God's judgment works in the lives of people.

Just slowly and silently, gradually doing his work of judgment. The work of the moth usually occurs in a context of neglect. If I were a more diligent beekeeper, I would look into my hives more often. But about the middle of the summer, I get tired of it.

I've been getting tired of it for about 35 years and just ask myself, why do I keep on doing this? And then the spring comes around and the flowers are blooming and the bees are buzzing and it smells good and I'm excited about it again. But I'm not as diligent a beekeeper as I ought to be and in a context of neglect, the moths come in and they start destroying my beehives. And this is the way that the moth of God's judgment works in our lives, in the lives of people. I want to make some distinction here between the people of Egypt and the people of Israel as the Lord did with the seven last plagues. I don't think that God ever judges his elect, his redeemed people for their sin. I don't think that he judges them in a sense of saying, I'm going to punish them for the thing that they're doing.

I believe the Bible teaches that all of the punishment that was due to us for our sin was laid on the Lord Jesus Christ. Nevertheless, I think that the Lord does use the quiet, wasting moths of things in the lives of his people to wake them up, to be a form of discipline as a loving father would discipline his children. That discipline doesn't always come in some stark and shocking accident or some stark and shocking disease or unforeseen turn of events. Sometimes God's discipline comes when you open a drawer in your life and you pull out something that you've neglected and you see that the moths have been at work.

And you think, I must stop this. I have got to quit this pattern of neglect because the moths are at work. So the moth works silently, the moth works gradually, the moth works in a context of neglect, and the moth works ruinously. Now the moth never ultimately and fully ruins the child of God.

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ, the love of God that is in Christ Jesus? Not anything in heaven or earth, not the moth. But for those who remain in rebellion against the Lord, then it may be that you will die an old person full of years and surrounded by people who love you and people will say, that's the way that I want to die. But your whole life will have spent feeding the moths.

And it's ruinous. Let me mention a few of the moths that I fear are in our lives. And at this point, you will recognize that I'm going into something like a topical sermon. But my main my main purpose here is to help you to feel the power of this one phrase that the moth will eat them up. And one of the moths that I think eat up our lives is the moth of wasting time. Just day after day, wasting time. In James, chapter four, verses 13 through 17, the Lord says, Come now, you who say today or tomorrow, we will go into such and such a town and we will practice business there and make money. You don't know what a day brings forth. What is your life?

It is a little mist that appears for a short time and then vanishes away. What you ought to say is, if the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that. But when you confidently assert that there's going to be time tomorrow to do the things that you ought to do today, you're speaking presumptuously.

You're speaking sinfully. And there is this tendency that we have to just constantly put off things and put off things. Some of you will be familiar with Shakespeare's very powerful play Macbeth. And you literary people know that all of Shakespeare's tragedies, in fact, all tragedies in classic literature end with all the main characters dying. So everybody dies at the end of a tragedy. And at the end of comedies, everyone gets married. That's true of Greek tragedy. That's true of the true of Shakespeare tragedy.

So comedies are not meant to make you laugh, but they are lighthearted things. And at the end, everyone gets happily married. So not surprisingly, at the end of Macbeth, Lady Macbeth is already dead. And then some circumstances have come about that Macbeth himself never thought would happen. And he sees that he is about to die.

And he remembers all of the things. He thinks briefly about the way that he intended to take care of important things, but he intended to do it tomorrow. And he says, tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow creeps in this petty pace from day to day. That is, throughout our lives, we are constantly putting things off and wasting time saying, tomorrow I'm going to do it. And this takes place, he says, to the last syllable of recorded time, up to the very last minute that we live.

We are just saying, tomorrow I'm going to take care of this. Consequently, all our yesterdays have lighted fools the way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle, life's but a walking shadow. This is the talk of a man who's filled with despair at the way that he has let the moths of wasting time eat up his life and bring him to an untimely, bring him to a tragic death. Life's just a walking shadow. A poor player who struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more. That's all my life has been, he says. I'm just like some actor that got a part in one play and, oh, he just really does his best.

He struts and frets for that hour, but he's just like a madman. Life is a tale that is told by an idiot full of sound and fury signifying nothing. That's the cry of despair of someone who has allowed wasting time to come and take away his life. May it not be you.

May it not be me. Another moth that is very prevalent in our culture is accumulating temporary wealth. Accumulating temporary wealth. Jesus says in Matthew chapter 6 verses 19 and 20, Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth where moth and rust corrupt and where thieves break through and steal. But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven where moth and rust do not corrupt and where thieves do not break through and steal. For where your heart is, for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. And that's one of the most damning things about the accumulation of treasure on earth.

Not only do you waste your life getting it, but you waste your life thinking about it and being anxious about it. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. James, again, James chapter 5 verses 1 through 3 give us insight into the problem of wasting our lives, accumulating wealth. Come now you rich, weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you. Your riches have rotted and your garments are moth eaten. Your gold and silver have corroded and their corrosion will be evidence against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up treasure in the last days. Accumulating temporary wealth is a moth that eats up many a life. Another moth that eats up our lives is the moth of anxiety. And here's where the songs that we sang in the first part of the worship service will help us so much. That we're able to, Jesus directs our attention to the things around us and the way that God takes care of them and says, let that be an object lesson to you. Do not be anxious about tomorrow.

Don't be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Consider the birds of the air. They don't toil or reap and they don't gather into barns and yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Aren't you worth more than birds? Or consider the lilies of the field.

They don't toil and they don't spin. And yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all of his splendor was arrayed like one of these. And if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?

So don't be anxious about your life. Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you. That last song that we sang, I don't know if you paid attention to who wrote it, but it's based on the work, the word of Saint Francis of Assisi. And I don't know much about Saint Francis of Assisi. Someone that I respected very much said concerning him, that's one Roman Catholic that I expect to see in heaven.

I know that there are some attractive things that I find very attractive about the life of Saint Francis of Assisi, but all creatures of our God and King. He's just summoning all of creation. Thou rushing wind that art so strong, ye clouds that sail in heaven along, praise Him.

Thou fire so masterful and bright, thou givest man both warmth and light. And a stanza, there are several stanzas that are left out of the version that we have in the hymn books that we used here this morning. There's a stanza that's added. I'd never heard that before.

I looked and that was added by someone in 1974. But several of the stanzas that are left out, one of which says, And thou most kind and gentle death, waiting to hush our latest breath. I was thinking especially of that song, that stanza, when I was considering the possibility of preaching on death as one of God's surprising servants. I'm not sure that I'm going to preach that sermon.

I may substitute it with something else. When Pastor Barkman asked me about what I was going to preach, the idea had just recently occurred to me that I was going to preach on God's surprising servants. And then I see that what I had written, what I suggested to him on the phone as just here are ideas I've got now appear in the bulletin as this is what's coming reminds me of that old rock and roll singer that I heard introduce a song that he had written many years before.

If I'd known that I was going to be singing this for the rest of my life, I would have written something else. So I'm going to feel the liberty to not hold myself exactly to the program as it has been committed. In fact, I think tonight I'm going to preach from something other than what's in the bulletin, probably preach God's use of wicked men tomorrow night. But tonight I anticipate preaching on unconscious influence, which doesn't appear anywhere on the program.

It's something I've really been thinking a lot about lately and excited to share. But anyway, back to the moth. One of the moths that eats up our lives is just anxiety.

And that led me to talk about St. Francis of Assisi and the way that he heeded the words of our Lord Jesus Christ. Look at the birds of the heaven and take a lesson from them. Look at the flowers of the field and take a lesson from them. Anxiety will eat up your life like a moth. Another moth that eats up the lives of – threatens to eat up the lives of the average Christian around me is excessive recreation. Now, I'm all in favor of recreation.

Anyone who knows me knows that I'm not business all the time. So I enjoy a number of recreational activities. But I am aware that there are segments of our society that are spending seven, eight, nine, ten hours a day in recreational activity. The statistics that talk about how much time the average person spends on his cell phone are disheartening. Most of that time spent on your cell phone or spent in front of a computer screen. And the latest that I've heard is that the average person in the young category age group, young age group category, will spend about 12 hours a day in front of a screen.

And we all know that they're not working out math problems. So this is – you're going to waste your life. I look around this congregation and I see it's mostly older people, but there are people of all ages who are – you're wasting your life with the distractions that are easily available to you. And it's fun for you to look up and read a half dozen blogs. And they might even be Christian blogs.

But there are more important things to be done than spend all day reading Christian websites. In a hymn book from long ago, the author of This Is My Father's World, which we might have sung, would have been in great harmony with the song service this morning. The author of This Is My Father's World, which most of us know, his name is Maltby Babcock. He wrote this little hymn too.

I don't know that it really belongs in a hymn book, but it strengthens the point that I'm making right now. Be strong. We are not here to play, to dream, to drift.

We have hard work to do and loads to lift. Shun not the struggle. Face it.

Tis God's gift. Be strong. Say not the days are evil.

Who's to blame? And fold the hands and acquiesce, O shame. Stand up. Speak out and bravely in God's name. Be strong. It matters not how deep entrenched the wrong, how hard the battle goes the day, how long.

Faint not. Fight on. Tomorrow comes the song. I don't know that that belongs in a hymn book, but it belongs somewhere in a person's education, that you don't just do things when you feel like doing them.

There's a time for work and there's a time for working hard, and we are not here to play. I fear that many of us are allowing the moth of mediocrity just to eat up our lives. We're just content with a mediocre life when we might have really pursued after participation in the divine nature. We might have really walked with God.

We might have really had an influence on others. This is a poem by Ralph Waldo Emerson, who has many crazy ideas. But in this poem, he imagines that the days come to us and each of them offers wonderful opportunities for bravery, for courage.

And at the end of this poem, the day turns away looking at him scornfully because he has wasted the day that had so much opportunity. Daughters of time, the Hippocratic days muffled and dumb like barefoot dervishes and marching single in an endless file. So here come these days just one at a time. And they bring diadems and faggots in their hands. Diodems would be crowns.

Faggots would be the bundles of sticks used to burn someone at the stake. And so there are these opportunities that come with every day. To each they offer gifts after his will. So the days offer gifts according to the will of the person.

Yes, you and me living out these days. Bread, kingdoms, stars, or sky that holds them all. I and my pleached garden.

A pleached garden is a garden where the trees have been interwoven, so it's something that has taken some time. I and my pleached garden watched the pomp, forgot my morning wishes. So the day started off and I'm going to make the most of this day, but then here comes the day with all of its promises. And he says, I hastily took a few herbs and apples and the day departed, turned and departed silent. I, too late, under her solemn fillet, saw the scorn.

A fillet is like a headband. And so as the day departs, he imagines that the day turns and looks at him and just says, really? With all the gifts that you might have taken from my hand today, all you take are a few herbs and apples?

That's all you want? I sometimes think about the sacrifices that were made by William Tyndale and John Wycliffe. The sacrifices that they made to make sure that we have the Bible in English. Burned at the stake and one of them, his bones dug up later.

He died before they could burn him and so they dug up his bones and burned them later. And Wycliffe and Tyndale look at us with our dusty, unused Bible and they say, really? That's the way you're using that precious gift that is in your hands and in your home? You have so little of it committed to heart? You don't read it every day? You don't value the preaching of God's word?

Really? I think about the martyrs from the first day from Stephen down to this day as the stones splash upon their faces and blood runs down. And they are subjected to all kinds of torture and Nero ties the Christians to posts and coats them with pitch and then sets them alight.

And from their burning perches in their dying throes, they look at us and they say, really? That's the way you're spending your life? That's the way that you're spending the legacy that I've left to you? I think about my own grandparents who were born in the first few years of 1900 and lived in miserable conditions in shacks where you wouldn't keep your dog.

And the way that they eked out a living in southern Illinois and in the hills of Kentucky. And then when my mother got to be 10 or 11 years old and she didn't have any place to go to school, then they made the sacrifice and moved out of the mountains and went to someplace where she could go to school. And the sacrifices they made for her and the sacrifices that my parents made for me and the immigrants, the immigrants that are your ancestors and the sacrifices that they made to come to America and say, I'm going to give my descendants a better way to live, and they look at us and they say, really? That's the way that you're going to live your life? After all the sacrifice that we made? After all that has been given to you? That's all you're going to take?

Just a few herbs and spices and then and then waste the rest of your life? Mediocrity is eating up our lives. One final thing that I'll mention as a moth that is eating up our lives, and that's the excessive pursuit for youthfulness and physical beauty. Now, let me say as a disclaimer ahead of time that I am a strong believer in eating right and working out. And I have worked out my whole life. I still work out five or six days a week. And so I am not against working out and being healthy. But the excessive pursuit for looking beautiful or looking handsome or having big muscles or having shapely legs is an enormous waste of time. Psalm 39 and verse 11 says, When thou with rebukes dost correct man for iniquity, thou makest his beauty to consume away like a moth.

Surely every man is vanity. First Timothy Chapter four and verse eight, the Bible says, For bodily exercise profiteth little. That is, it's not totally useless. It does profit some. I can think of some other things that eat up our days that we can't say that about. But bodily exercise does profit little. But godliness is profitable under all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come.

And so which should you spend your time pursuing? In one of my favorite sonnets by William Shakespeare, he, the poet, addresses his soul. And asks his soul, Why are you so skinny and hungry when your body is so well cared for?

It goes like this. Poor soul, the center of my sinful earth. My sinful earth. He's talking about his body. My sinful earth.

These rebel powers that thee array. So the soul is clothed with the body. And then he asks his soul, Why does thou pine within and suffer dearth? A dearth is like a great famine. Why are you getting so skinny and hungry painting by outward walls so costly gay? So inside you're starving to death. But boy, it sure does look good on the outside. Why so large cost, having so short a lease, does thou upon my fading mansion spend?

You're like someone who's renting a property and you pour all of your, you pour all of your resources into improving this property that you're just renting. You're going to leave it behind. Shall worms, he asks his soul, shall worms, inheritors of this excess, eat up thy charge? You're so worried about taking care of your body.

Are worms going to eat it? Is this thy body's end? Then take this lesson, he says to his soul.

Then so live thou upon thy servants loss. Your body is your servant. So some of that time that you're devoting to your body, take that and apply it to the good of your soul. Let that pine, let your soul be the one that gets skinny to aggravate thy store.

Aggravate here means to make greater. So soul, if it means that you have to neglect your body in order for you to prosper, then go ahead and do that. That's a good deal. You will be buying terms divine by selling hours of dross. Dross is worthless stuff, but a term is a long time. And that's what you'll be doing when you take some time that you are unnecessarily devoting to the pursuit of having a beautiful body, trying to look young. If you take that and you apply it to having a healthy soul, then you will live upon your servants loss. You'll feed on death that feeds on men and death once dead.

There's no more dying then. If any of you want to look that up later, that's Shakespeare's sonnet number one hundred forty six. Now, let's bring this to a close by these two things. Number one, as God's instrument of judgment, the Lord brings the moth against those who reproach and revile.

That's in my text. That's also in Isaiah Chapter 50 and verse nine. Don't be afraid of those who who are attacking you and your Christian faith. The moth will eat them up. The Lord also brings the judgment of the moth against sinful mortals. Turn, if you will, quickly to Job chapter four and verses 17 through 20. We can see the moth at work to bring judgment against more sinful mortals.

Job four seventeen. Can mortal man be in the right before God? Can a man be pure before his maker? Even in his servants, he puts no trust and his angels he charges with error. How much more those who dwell in houses of clay, whose foundation is in the dust, who are crushed like the moth. Between morning and evening, they are beaten to pieces.

They perish forever without anyone regarding it. And then turn forward to Job chapter thirteen and in verse twenty eight, we see again how that God marshals the moth against sinful mortals in Job thirteen twenty eight. The Bible says man wastes away like a rotten thing, like a garment that is moth eaten. I think that there are moths of God that are at work in our culture, the the moth of distraction.

I have heard Christians admit that years ago, the first thing that they would do when they woke up in the morning was that they would pray and they would read their Bible. And now the first thing they reach for is their cell phone. Laziness, gossip, bitterness, the degradation of human worth that is so prevalent in our society, teaching us that humans are nothing more than animals, presenting men and women in pornography as if they were nothing more than animals. People viewing and looking at pornography in a way that they know full well is eating away at the integrity of their souls, but they still just open up their lives to that moth.

The unnatural affections of sexual perversions and abortion, all of which go back to a degradation of human worth. And God is letting the moth eat up our culture. But there is hope for moth eaten lives. I hope that the Lord has stirred up your conscience today and you have said, you know, I need to open that drawer to make sure the moths are not eating that up.

I am one of those people who reaches for the cell phone or the computer first thing in the morning. And I give the best part of my day not to God, but I give the best part of my day to whatever news item catches my attention. I don't know how the Lord may have convicted you this morning, but I don't want it to drive you to despair. Early detection is key to cutting off the depredation that moths accomplish. And most moths do their damage in dark secret places. And so if you have dark secret places in your life, bring them into the light of God's presence. But take comfort from this. God can restore moth eaten years.

Hear these words of encouragement from Joel chapter two, verse twenty five. The moth is not mentioned here, but something that is analogous to the moth. I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten. The hopper, the destroyer and the cutter.

These are various things that would eat up a crop and there were crops that were eaten up. Joel predicted a great a great plague of locusts that was coming. And then the Lord says this very encouraging thing. I will restore to you the years that the locust has eaten the hopper, the destroyer and the cutter.

My great army, which I sent among you. So I hope that the Holy Spirit gives us insight as we day by day examine our lives and see. Am I living in the light? Am I using my time wisely? Am I pursuing the Lord? Am I am I taking advantage of the opportunity that is afforded me day after day? Or must I, as I get on my knees beside my bed tonight, look up with shame to heaven and say, Lord, I wasted that one. I wasted that one.

Please help me not to do it again. Help me to take advantage of the hours and the moments that you give me. And if the moth is at work in my life, show me where it is. Help me to expose it to the light. And may you in your great grace deliver me from this terrible judgment of the moth. Amen.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-12-28 21:37:09 / 2022-12-28 21:52:30 / 15

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