The Priest Gang
Frontier Town brought the old west to the Adirondacks. In the days when John Wayne and Roy Rogers ruled the big screen, Art Bensen, my dad’s friend, built a cowboy theme park on Route 9, a few miles north of Word of Life in North Hudson. I loved the rodeo with its bull riding, barrel racing, and cowboys all the way from Texas roping calves, but as a kid my favorite attraction was riding the old steam train through the woods. Suddenly, one of the Dalton gang would fire his black-powder 45 into the air, force the train to stop, and then walk through each car threatening to take watches, jewelry, and dollar bills.
It was all pretend at Frontier Town, but in the 8thcentury at places like Gilead and Shechem, the robbery and bloody violence was far too real. And Hosea wasn’t worried about the Dalton brothers, former lawmen who turned to the dark side. He was concerned about a gang of priests who turned outlaw.
“Gilead is a city of evildoers, whose footprints are bloody.
As highway robbers lie in wait for a victim, so a band of
priests murder on the road to Shechem, committing heinous, pre-meditated crimes.
In the house of Israel I have seen a horrible thing; there Ephraim engages in illicit sex. Israel commits dirty deeds.
You too, Judah, a harvest is appointed for you!” Hosea 6:8-11
In the time of Jacob, Shechem was the place where Levi and Simeon executed all the males in the city (Gen. 34:24-29). In Hosea’s time stealing, murder, and promiscuous sex had reached a new low. On the road to Shechem a gang of priests plot their next heist and then hide in ambush to rob and murder. Priests responsible for teaching the 6th, 7th, and 8thcommandments make their living breaking them as criminals. As in the time of the Judges, the society is coming apart. And Judah in the south is also committing the same acts of treachery and unfaithfulness toward the Lord. They too will have their appointed time of judgment.
LORD, give my friends in law enforcement and those who are judges great skill as they seek to catch and convict those involved in criminal activity like these priests in Hosea’s day. And give strength to young pastors who are seeking to give courage and strength to believers seeking to live for Jesus in a culture that is morally coming apart.
For more from Dave Wyrtzen please visit TruthEncounter.com!