Five Guys Named Moe, a Broadway musical set in the depression era, tells the romantic comeback story of Nomax, a self-destructive soul who’s been unceremoniously dumped by his girlfriend.
In his misery, Nomax turns to his 30's style radio for an emotional lift and, magically, out pop five guys named Moe—No Moe, Eat Moe, Big Moe, Little Moe and Four-Eyed Moe. And under the musical tutelage of the Moes, Nomax turns his life around and, in the end, tries to win back the girl's heart.
As the story concludes, the transformed Nomax has a musical confrontation with his beloved by singing Is You Is or Is You Ain't My Baby?
Is You Is Or Is You Ain’t My Baby? It's got a very familiar prophetic sound to it, doesn't it? In fact, isn't this the same song God asked Jeremiah to sing all through his ministry—Is You Is Or Is You Ain't My Baby?
Jeremiah was Judah's most famous vocalist, though many in that day wished he'd just shut-up. For forty years he faithfully predicted God's judgment on apostate Judah, singing to the Jews with his reoccurring theme.
And, year after year, hostility mounted—his temple privileges were revoked, his prophetic writings were seized and destroyed, arrest warrants were issued, his work was sabotaged. He was abducted, publicly humiliated, tossed down a pit, and imprisoned.
The Jews of that day took heckling to a whole new level.
More than once Jeremiah asked God to change tunes, to give him another song to sing. But the Lord kept requesting His favorite: Is You Is Or Is You Ain’t My Baby? And, sermon after sermon, Jeremiah kept crooning the one song he was born to sing.
God was well aware that the people wouldn't accept His music, but He told the baritone prophet, "Sing it anyway."
But, giving unpopular messages can wear on any prophet.
Ezekiel was another who was hesitant to sing on stage for fear of what the crowd might do. But God said, "Don't be afraid of them. I'll make your forehead like a hard stone, harder than flint."
That probably wasn't what Ezekiel wanted to hear.
Critics and hecklers have never appreciated God's music or the voices who deliver it.
Preaching God's Word packs a punch—a life altering, church impacting, culture rattling sock in the nose! It strips man's pretenses, exposing him for who he is—a lost and sinful creature. And there's bound to be a reaction.
For example: the Bible has 31,173 verses. And yet, take 15 of them, mount them on a federal building, and you've got a real battle on your hands—as is the case with the Ten Commandments. Or, recite just five verses at a high school graduation, such as the Lord's Prayer, and you're up to your neck in crocodiles.
Unpopular messages have always been the stock-in-trade of God's spokesmen. Not surprisingly, these same meaty messages are never the favorites among God's people. Repentance has never been what people want. But repentance has always been what people need.
Jesus lost audiences with unpopular messages. The crowd oohed and ahhed over His culinary talents when feeding a multitude from a kid's sack lunch. But the after-dinner discourse of "Eat My flesh and Drink My blood" led to massive spiritual indigestion.
Even the Lord's disciples struggled with His unpopular approach. He asked them, "Does this offend you?" Their clumsy silence shouted, "Yes, as a matter of fact, it does!"
But unpopular messages don't have to be hopeless messages. After preaching, "Is You Is Or Is You Ain't My Baby," Jeremiah, had some good news:
"I have hope.
The Lord’s loving-kindness never ceases.
His compassions never fail,
For they are new every morning.
Great is Thy faithfulness."
Even the most unpopular messages can have happy endings.
Strong medicine was never designed to taste good. It was designed to cure the patient. And as long as there's a pulse, we still have time for a recovery.