Good morning/afternoon/evening! Today’s Obscure Biblical Character is… the angel of the church of Ephesus!
To the angel of the church of Ephesus write, ‘These things says He who holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands: “I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary. Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent. But this you have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.
So these people were doing everything right (well, not really, but just go with it). They did their works, they labored for God, they were patient, and they couldn’t stand those who were evil. They checked out the false followers, persevered, and didn’t become tired in God’s service. So what’s God’s problem with this group?
They left their first love. They had all of their ducks lined up, but they forgot the most important thing: love. Yes they were following all of the rules, but that doesn’t matter to God. When we die, people won’t remember us for how many works we did, they’ll remember us for how much we loved. God wants us to love Him and love each other.
Jesus told them to come back to where they had fallen from and repent, or He would have to take away their lampstand.
Jesus finishes up the letter by saying again what they were doing right (hating deeds of Nicolaitans, which He also hates). (Wait: Jesus hates? I thought Jesus was loving! We’ll have to discuss that tomorrow!). Jesus, being very smart, as He is God, knew that they would be more apt to listening to Him if He told them what they were doing right (a technique Paul also used.)
So this week’s Obscure Biblical Character:
-given to God’s service at a young age
-has two Old Testament books named after him
-was called by God to be a prophet while he was serving under Eli
In His Service,