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

-- R. Burns Epistle to a Young Friend

Monday, June 13, 2016


Because you have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with Sheol we have an agreement, when the overwhelming whip passes through it will not come to us, for we have made lies our refuge, and in falsehood we have taken shelter -- Isaiah 28:15

Sometimes when people around us are suffering, we offer words that comfort.  We say it is going to get better.  We tell the person he is strong.  We tell her she is going to make it.  We want to believe those things.  If someone is sick and recovers, our words may have helped by giving them hope. 

There are other cases where comforting words are detrimental, when they enable addiction or encourage self-destructive choices.  We have a lot of that going around these days.  The most compassionate thing we can do is tell the truth. 

God warns us about sin, not because He wants to spoil our fun, but because He loves us too much to allow us to be destroyed by deception.  The truth hurts just as the smallpox vaccination I received as a child hurt.  Those vaccinations, those moments of pain for millions of young children removed the scourge of smallpox from the human race. 

It seems that we have lost our appreciation of the pain of discipline and of the necessity of inoculating ourselves against falsehood.  A little pain in a child’s life may well save him as an adult.  A painful dose of truth may keep one from death by fantasy. 

I write this the morning after a murderer, his heart filled with lies, took at least fifty lives before he was put down like a rabid dog.  Islam needs to face up to the truth of what is being taught in its mosques.  Americans have to face the truth about jihad.  We, as humans, have to open our hearts to God’s truth, to the truth about each of us.  Apart from Christ, we are lost.  We will make excuses, self-justify, and be self-satisfied.  The truth is that our self-righteousness is a filthy rag, an abomination. 

And I will make justice the line, and righteousness the plumb line; and hail will sweep away the refuge of lies, and waters will overwhelm the shelter.  Then your covenant with death will be annulled, and your agreement with Sheol will not stand; when the overwhelming scourge passes through, you will be beaten down by it (Isaiah 28:17-18).


julie said...

Apart from Christ, we are lost.

Amen. Sadly, as a nation we have grown very far apart from Christ.

mushroom said...

Sometimes we feel like Elijah -- we're the only ones left. God has His people, and He knows every one.