F. B. Hole.
(Extracted from Simple Testimony, Vol. 35, 1918-19, page 197.)
Who howled, and why? The record speaks of the people who then inhabited the northerly parts of Palestine, and what troubled them was an acute shortage of the necessaries of life, such as corn and wine. The multitudes assembled together in the scramble for the wherewithal to live, and a kind of rationing had to be instituted.
It was a most vexatious business, as modern experiences have proved; unfortunately, however, they mistook howling for calling upon God to help.
Here is the entire quotation —
"They have not cried unto Me with their heart, when they howled upon their beds: they assemble themselves for corn and wine, and they rebel against Me" (Hosea 7:14).
There is all the difference in the world between a cry to God from the heart and a howl upon one's bed. The heart-cry sends a man to his knees in repentance toward God; the howl means but annoyance and distress, and rebellion against God.
In these hard times you have probably had a howl wrung from your lips; but say, has a real cry to God ever escaped your heart? If not, do not be surprised that no answer has reached you. Why should it? Do you yourself set much store by mere words when there is no heart nor reality behind them?
Be real: then God will speedily be found, for He is not far from you.