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Wilderness to Water. Reflections regarding God's faithfulness, character, love, and the gospel of Jesus Christ. An examination of God's grace and power through meditative prose, poetry, original drawings and full-color photographs.

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Thursday
Jan142016

Watch the Lukewarm Undertow

"Hosea's Robe", John Singer Sargent

“They will eat but not have enough;
they will engage in prostitution but not flourish,
because they have deserted the Lord
to give themselves to prostitution,
to old wine and new which
take away their understanding……
…..A spirit of prostitution leads them astray;
they are unfaithful to their God.
They sacrifice on the mountaintops…..
where the shade is pleasant.
Therefore your daughters turn to prostitution
and your daughters-in-law to adultery…..
.....people without understanding will come to ruin!”
–Hosea 4:10-14


"The husband is the head of the wife just in so far as he is to her what Christ is to the Church - read on - and gives his life for her (Eph. V, 22-23). This headship, then, is most fully embodied not in the husband we should all wish to be but in him whose marriage is most like a crucifixion; whose wife receives most and gives least, is most unworthy of him, is - in her own mere nature - least lovable. For the Church has not beauty but what the Bride-groom gives her; he does not find, but makes her, lovely. The chrism of this terrible coronation is to be seen not in the joys of any man's marriage but in its sorrows, in the sickness and sufferings of a good wife or the faults of a bad one, in his unwearying (never paraded) care or his inexhaustible forgiveness: forgiveness, not acquiescence. As Christ sees in the flawed, proud, fanatical or lukewarm Church on earth that Bride who will one day be without spot or wrinkle, and labours to produce the latter, so the husband whose headship is Christ-like (and he is allowed no other sort) never despairs. He is a King Cophetua who after twenty years still hopes that the beggar-girl will one day learn to speak the truth and wash behind her ears.”
― C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves

Sadly, part of Paul’s epistle to the Ephesians (Chapter 5: 22…..) has for several decades become a scandalous “snare of offence” for many folks in the post-modern, liberated church. Perhaps, we should have seen it coming. And perhaps, we shouldn’t be surprised. After all, the Old Testament Book of Hosea should have given us a clear (and prophetic) “heads-up”…..

The issue is really nothing new, and we should have known better.



Watch the Lukewarm Undertow

Angry feminists among us
Read Ephesians Five1 and scream...
Starving furies find expression
In their most unpleasant dream.

Watch the Bride Post-Modern sailing...
In the wake she leaves behind,
Hear the proud and angry wailing,
Hear the overboard and blind.

Watch the Bride Post-Modern preying,
Watch the scandal on her grow2
Watch her take the bait of Satan,
Watch the lukewarm undertow3.

Watch her hear a message muddled4,
Watch her eat from empty plates5
Watch her stray onto the Broad Way
Where her ruination waits.

Watch the Bride seek absolution
In the marketplace of man…
Watch her whoring and ignoring
Truth she did not understand6.

Watch apostasy breed anger
In the shade of Jezebel7,
Watch the blood of babies flowing,
Watch the Devil’s pleasant spell.

Watch the daughters of rebellion,
Watch Hosea full of Grace.
Watch the Bridegroom seek his true love
While she’s laughing in his face.

Watch the cauldron spilling over,
Truth revised from clear to blurred…
Watch the lies of Idol Pleasures
Drowning out God’s patient Word.

Lord, please give us understanding,
Eyes to see and ears to hear8
Turn these hearts of stone to flesh9, Lord,
Grace and Mercy, draw us near.

Help us see You in Hosea10,
Give us Light, Lord, from above…
True obedience more faithful…
True self-sacrificial Love11.

Help us understand the Myst’ry12,
Robe us with, Lord, what we’ve lost…
Give us Grace to heed the Good News,
Once revealed on Calv’ry’s Cross.


"For God so loved the world...."

1 Ephesians 5: 22-24

2 Greek: skandalon : a snare, a trap, a stumbling block, an offence

3 Revelation 3:16

4 2Peter 2: 1,2

5 Hosea 4: 10

6 Matthew 13: 14-15

7 Revelation 2: 20

8 Matthew 13: 6

9 Ezekiel 36: 25,26

10 Hosea 1: 2,3

11 Ephesians 5: 25-28

12 Ephesians 5: 32