Ephraim was one of the tribes of Israel and is often used as a representative term for the whole northern kingdom of Israel. Hosea said of Ephraim that they were “oppressed and broken in judgment, because he willingly walked by human precept.” (5:11) In their case they had relied on Assyria for help rather than the Lord.
How many times do we walk by human precept rather than according to the precept of God? Jesus said of the religious leaders, “This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me, …teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’(Mark 7:6,7) The precepts of man come in many different colors. Sometimes we develop a religious system that replaces the relationship that God desires to have with us. Sometimes we walk the way of the world, trusting in the wisdom of man and their philosophies.
Man says that we should pursue wealth. God says “do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth. You cannot serve God and mammon (riches).” (Matt 6:19, 21) Man says that you need to worry about the economy. God says “Do not worry saying what shall we eat or what shall we drink or what shall we wear? …Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” (Matt 6:31-34) Man says that we need to dress in style and look good. God says He “does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (I Sam 16:7) Man says that there are many ways to God. God says there is ONE way. (John 14:6)
What about you? Whose precepts will you walk in today?