The Moth; or God's Quiet Method of Destroying
Hosea 5:12
Therefore will I be to Ephraim as a moth, and to the house of Judah as rottenness.

"And I am like the moth to Ephraim, and like the worm to the house of Judah." — Keil and Delitzsch. "The moth and worm are figures employed to represent destructive powers: the moth destroying clothes (Isaiah 50:9; Isaiah 51:8; Psalm 39:12), the worm injuring both wood and flesh." The words indicate God's quiet method of ruining. In two or three verses in this chapter He is spoken of as proceeding in His work of destruction as a lion. Here as a "moth" — working out ruin silently, slowly, and gradually.

I. HE WORKS DECAY THUS SOMETIMES IN THE BODIES OF MEN. Oftentimes men die violently and suddenly, but more frequently by some insidious hidden disease which, like a "moth," works away quietly at the vitals, gradually poisoning the blood and undermining the constitution. The moth is often so small and secret in its workings that medical science can seldom find it out, and when it finds it out, though it may check it for a time, it cannot destroy it: the moth defies all medicine. At the heart of some of the strongest trees in the forest there are hosts of invisible insects noiselessly at work; the forester knows it not, the tree seems healthy; until one fine morning before a strong gust of wind it falls a victim to these silent workers. So with the strongest man amongst us.

II. HE WORKS DECAY THUS SOMETIMES IN THE ENTERPRISES OF MEN. Often men find it impossible to succeed in their worldly avocations. Mercantile establishments that have been prosperous for generations have the "moth" in them. They have not been conducted by godly men and that in a right spirit; so God sent a "moth," and the moth has been working away for years silently, secretly, and gradually, until all the vitality has been eaten up.

III. HE WORKS DECAY THUS SOMETIMES IN THE KINGDOMS OF MEN. Effeminacy, luxury, ambition, greed, self-indulgence, servility, irreverence, these are moths, and decay sets in, and it falls not by the sword of the invader but by its own "rottenness."

IV. HE WORKS DECAY THUS SOMETIMES IN THE CHURCHES OF MEN. What destroyed the churches of Asia Minor? The "moth" of worldliness and religious error. Some of our modern churches are obviously slowly rotting away. A realising faith in the invisible; brotherly love; practical self-sacrifice; Christliness of spirit, are being eaten up by the moth of secularity, sectarianism, superstition, and religious pretence. Thus, too, individual souls lose their spiritual life and strength. God deliver us from those errors of heart that like a moth eat away the life!


Parallel Verses
KJV: Therefore will I be unto Ephraim as a moth, and to the house of Judah as rottenness.

WEB: Therefore I am to Ephraim like a moth, and to the house of Judah like rottenness.

The Moth
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