DATE: January 7, 2020
Christ is risen. He is risen, indeed.
TEXT: John 20:27 - ESV - 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.”
People are peculiar in the extreme.
For example, if you tell a man that, as of January 1, 2020 there were 581 billion, 678 million, 934 thousand, 341 discovered galaxies in the universe, he will believe you. That same individual, if he walks through a hall and sees a sign which reads "FRESH PAINT" will.... well you know what he has to do. He has to make a personal investigation. He has to touch it.
That's humankind for you. When it comes to matters of belief everything seems so unbelievable.
It's human nature to doubt, to be a skeptic. When it comes to accepting things, we all from Missouri. We have to see for ourselves. And often times, that's not so bad. We have been lied to so many times. We have heard every aspirin company say that they relieve headache the best, every toilet paper claims to be the softest, every cigarette manufacturer claiming to be the mildest, every cold remedy relieves the most symptoms the mildest, we have to check the paint.
But doubting can have some very dire results.
In 1970 the Liberian tanker ARROW ran aground off Nova Scotia, broke into two parts and sunk. The oil it was carrying floated to shore and polluted 125 miles of shoreline. Its Greek captain admitted that he did see an echo on his radar that said there were rocks ahead of him. But he had dismissed those blips as being false. "It was my mistake," he confessed. But the damage was done. Now, having 125 miles of shoreline befouled with oil is tragic.
But it's far more tragic to doubt the Lord. It's far more silly to check the Lord's WET PAINT signs.
Nevertheless, that is exactly what people do. Adam and Eve checked out the paint when the ate from the tree of good and evil. God had hung a wet paint sign on that tree and what did they do? They had to touch it, try it and see if God meant what He said. God did mean it. And the world was thrown into a state of disarray until the end of time.
The children of Israel in the wilderness had seen ten plagues, all of them powerful, but with Pharaoh's chariots careening down on them they doubted the ongoing protection of the Lord. Countless times in their wilderness wanderings they checked to see if God's love was still there. Countless times they put their hand on the wet paint.
Even after God had given them the promised land, people didn't believe any better.
Gideon needed signs that he was being picked by God. Samson checked the paint when he met Delilah. And Samson found that God meant what He said. Samson ended up losing his hair, his eyesight, his dignity and his life.
Herod the Great knew the prophecy of a king Who was to be born in Bethlehem. But he had to test the paint and see if it was wet. He had to see if God really was indestructible. So his soldiers were sent to defeat the Lord of hosts. Herod died. The new King survived so that He might give His life upon the cross and save humankind from sin.
And now it’s our turn... to believe or check the paint.... to trust the Lord or doubt Him. With the records of humankind’s failures and the success of the Lord’s Son, I know what I’m going to try and do.
It seems a whole lot safer, smarter and more secure.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I believe, help my unbelief. In Your holy Name I pray it. Amen.
The music which introduces and concludes our devotions was written by Guy Baumann. He along with three of his brothers perform on the album: The Baumann Brothers which may be ordered here: http://thebaumannbrothers.com/index.html