Perhaps it may turn out a sang,
Perhaps turn out a sermon.

-- R. Burns Epistle to a Young Friend

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

A Word from the Prince of Preachers

He who quarries stones is hurt by them, and he who splits logs is endangered by them. -- Ecclesiastes 10:9

Oppressors may get their will of poor and needy men as easily as they can split logs of wood, but they had better mind, for it is a dangerous business, and a splinter from a tree has often killed the woodman. Jesus is persecuted in every injured saint, and he is mighty to avenge his beloved ones. Success in treading down the poor and needy is a thing to be trembled at: if there be no danger to persecutors here there will be great danger hereafter.

To cleave wood is a common every-day business, and yet it has its dangers; so then, reader, there are dangers connected with your calling and daily life which it will be well for you to be aware of. We refer not to hazards by flood and field, or by disease and sudden death, but to perils of a spiritual sort. Your occupation may be as humble as log splitting, and yet the devil can tempt you in it. You may be a domestic servant, a farm labourer, or a mechanic, and you may be greatly screened from temptations to the grosser vices, and yet some secret sin may do you damage. Those who dwell at home, and mingle not with the rough world, may yet be endangered by their very seclusion.
Nowhere is he safe who thinks himself so. Pride may enter a poor man’s heart; avarice may reign in a cottager’s bosom; uncleanness may venture into the quietest home; and anger, and envy, and malice may insinuate themselves into the most rural abode. Even in speaking a few words to a servant we may sin; a little purchase at a shop may be the first link in a chain of temptations; the mere looking out of a window may be the beginning of evil. O Lord, how exposed we are! How shall we be secured! To keep ourselves is work too hard for us: only thou thyself art able to preserve us in such a world of evils. Spread thy wings over us, and we, like little chickens, will cower down beneath thee, and feel ourselves safe!  (Charles Haddon Spurgeon – Daily Devotional – 11/17)

 I don't have much time or much to add, except that I don't think Spurgeon's point is that we should live in constant fear of offending the Lord or our brothers and sisters.  We do need to beware, as he says, of the costs of exploiting our neighbors.

The greater point is that no matter how well we isolate and insulate ourselves, trials and temptations will find us.  "Only the dead have seen the end of war" -- a quote generally attributed to Plato which may have originated, instead, with George Santayana -- it is, nonetheless, accurate.  Living has its risks.

Our goal in this life is not to eliminate risks, pain, injury, or errors.  Rather, we are to be aware of the fleeting nature of our health, wealth, and very existence.  We are but a vapor.  There is no safety and no certainty in this life, but there is security in Christ and in Him alone. 


Rick said...

Living has its risks.

I heard someguru say I was given a death sentence.
You too. Each of us, the day we was born.

Living has its risks.
Actually, maybe it's the dying. It's when our chances have all run out. Got to get stuff done right while we can.

Thanks, Mush.

mushroom said...

Good words, Rick. Thank you.