Let Him Alone!
"Ephraim is joined to idols: let him alone." Hosea 4:17
More solemn words than these were never spoken. Prophet after prophet had been sent to Ephraim. Moses, Elijah, Elisha, all testified God's message to Ephraim. They were warned against their sin of idolatry, and of God's sure judgment. But they would not hear. They despised God's servant and his message; because, at heart, they despised God. Finally, the Lord said to his prophet, "Ephraim is joined to idols; let him, alone.
The exact same thing happened to the nation of Israel. They had the law and oracles of God, the prophets and the priesthood. Finally, God's own Son came among them. But they despised all. Like Ephraim was glued in heart to his idols, Israel was Joined to her rituals and traditions, and our Lord said, "Let then alone: they be blind leaders of the blind"(Mt.15:14) Judicially, God gave Ephraim and Israel up in reprobation. I fear that such judgment might come upon some of my own hearers.
Perhaps, you think that such does not take place with individuals. You have always heard that God is at the beck and call of the sinner. Read what God says in Proverbs 1:23-33. My friend, you must hear God when he speaks to you by the gospel, and hearken to his voice. I say, according to the scriptures, if men continually harden themselves against the Word of God, they do but seal up their own reprobation. The day will come when, like Esau, you will seek repentance; but God will not grant it. You will call for mercy; but God will not show mercy. Continued rebellion against God's warnings of wrath, both by his servants and providence, continued disobedience to conscience, continued rejection of the tender wooings of the gospel are the things that bring about this awful curse - "Let him alone!"
Once such condemnation is past upon your soul, nothing will move your heart. The sermons of the preacher only serve to harden you. Conscience no longer speaks. Your destruction is sure! Therefore, I urge you, harden not your heart. Receive not the grace of God in vain.