TITLE: Come Back Later
DATE: November 13, 2018
TEXT: 1 Corinthians 10:13-11:1 (ESV) - 13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
The place of today’s devotion is a small e-cigarette shop outside the Belgian city of Charleroi.
The time is 3:00 in the afternoon and the store is being manned by only one individual, a man whom we shall call Didier. We shall call him that because that is his name. At any rate, Shopkeeper Didier looked up to see six individuals enter the store at the same time. That number of men arriving simultaneously was unusual. Even more curious was the fact none of these fellows seemed to be interested in what the shop was selling.
No, they just came up to him and demanded he handed over the store’s cash.
Considering he was looking at six thieves, the rational thing for Didier to do would be to empty the till and hand the money over. Didier didn’t do that. No, he chose another approach. He told the crooks they were nuts. He hadn’t made many sales yet, so they needed to come back later when their take would be richer. Amazingly, the criminals thought that was a good idea and promised they would return.
After they left, Didier phoned the police and asked them to come and arrest the six when they came back. The police declined. They knew those criminals would never show their faces again.
he cops were wrong. The thieves showed up at 5:30. Didier looked at them like they were crazy and told them they were still too early. He told them they should come back later… at 6:30, when the store closed. Once again, they agreed. Long story short: the thieves came back later and the plain-clothes police arrested the worst robbers in Belgium.
Telling thieves to “Come back later” usually doesn’t work; but if you really want to try an exercise in futility, say those words to the devil when he comes to tempt you.
You see, Satan is a master psychologist and he has spent a considerable amount of time studying you.
That’s why if you tell him, “Come back later”, he’s going to reply, “I don’t think so.” Then he will lay out before you whatever temptation he thinks will tickle your fancy for that day. And, you can be certain that temptation will be of a kind and quality which will knock your socks off.
Nope, you can’t tell Satan to “Come back later.” He just ain’t a gonna do it.
Which means, if you wish to beat temptation, you need to have the Savior and the Scriptures by your side. Together they will give you a wisdom a strength, a backbone you might normally not possess. And, for those (hopefully) few times when you fall victim to the Satan’s wiles, the Redeemer can offer forgiveness and dust you off to try again.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, Satan has had a lot more experience tempting people than I have had resisting him. When I am confused give me direction; when I might stumble, hold me up. This I ask in the Savior’s Name. Amen.
The above devotion was inspired by a number of sources, including one written by Arden Dier for Newser on October 25, 2018 . Those who wish to reference those articles may do so at the following link, which was fully functional at the time this devotion was written: http://www.newser.com/story/266338/store-owner-tells-robbers-to-come-back-later-they-did.html
The music which introduces and concludes our devotions was written by Guy Baumann, one of my long-ago confirmands. He is singing with three brothers. This song comes from the album: The Baumann Brothers which may be ordered here: http://thebaumannbrothers.com/index.html