Friday, July 13, 2018

Tempted By Little, Tempted By Lots

“All small animals that scurry along the ground are detestable, and you must never eat them. This includes all animals that slither along on their bellies, as well as those with four legs and those with many feet. All such animals that scurry along the ground are detestable, and you must never eat them. Leviticus 11:41-42

The Law as written in Leviticus did not feature mouse pie on the menu it seems. Not messing with the slithering things was probably not a problem for most of the Israelites though. However, it seems from my observations that there are two times in life when eating the forbidden critters might be a problem. One, a famine and people are starving hungry. Understandable to us, we don't like to be that hungry either. The second time though is perhaps less easily excused, and that is when people are rich and well-fed. Yes, we are in such a time for many right now, and what do they want to do in this time? Yes, to try every sort of food.

You and I may find the second totally alien to us in that we have never experienced that sort of wealth. This is not the big bonus at work, so let's go have a steak dinner kind of wealth that many of us have done, but the wealth where money rolls in so fast that we can't spend it all and we move to the house on Easy Street and get bored with even the finer things. It is interesting that the two worst temptations to the forbidden are total absence of a necessity and overwhelming abundance. In neither condition do we behave very well when left alone.

When it appears that a necessity will not be fulfilled we easily fail to maintain our faith and trust in God. When there is so much of a necessity that we have no reason to worry, then we get bored with even the good stuff and reach for the exotic, especially if it is forbidden. It is funny that the time of plenty is exactly what we pray for when things are a bit short. Yet, when we are overwhelmed with plenty, we never pray for a time of doing without. In the flesh, it would seem, we are never to be satisfied. In God's place we might be well be tempted to throw up the hands in disgust and walk away. Thanks and praise to God that He is not like us!

God sent His Son to save us because we do not have it in ourselves to simply be grateful for His provision without a profound change within that which we call the self. Always we would be running from one temptation to the next, and falling for all of them, if it were not for a new spirit born within us of the Spirit through Jesus Christ our Lord. In Christ, we are no longer temptation's plaything, and it is time we remember that as He leads us on toward home.

Kind of a long-winded day there, I hope that your weekend is just as long! Love and joy in Christ Jesus!


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