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Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Pennsylvania red bank barn in snow
(Taken by our friend Greg Schneider)
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"A Lesson From A Dull Axe"
"If the ax is dull, and one does not sharpen its edge, then one must exert more strength; however, the advantage of wisdom is that it brings success" (Ecclesiastes 10:10).
Bible teacher Herbert Lockyer, who is now with the Lord, wrote a book titled "All The Promises In The Bible". In fact he wrote a series of books along this theme, "All The _____ Of The Bible" comprised of 21 volumes! Dr. Lockyer’s gifts for clearly explaining the profound truths of Scripture and helping readers apply these precepts to their everyday lives have made these inspiring books international bestsellers.
I think it would be interesting someday to develop a study on all the tools of the Bible. But in my research I don't recall ever seeing a study, let alone a book, that provides spiritual lessons from the various tools mentioned in the Bible. I feel it would be a best seller, especially for men! So let's go for one today!
Like most men, I like tools and have quite a collection accumulated through the years. My dad was a "blue collar" working man and had quite a tool shop. Through the year I inherited a number of his tools and of course through the years have bought many on my own.
The tools mentioned in the Bible such as hammer, goad, plumb line, adjustable wrench and so on each would illustrate a spiritual truth. Actually adjustable wrench is not in the Bible but probably could be a spiritual illustration! I should also note that the tool shop pictured to the right is not mine!
Today let us consider a spiritual lesson from an illustration in the Bible regarding an axe. I do not recall ever considering this passage till Jesse, an older friend of mine, called my attention to it several weeks ago as were discussing the Bible. It's a relatively straightforward statement that is pretty self evident. "If the ax is dull, and one does not sharpen its edge, then one must exert more strength."
As matter of fact I have used a dull hatchet (a hatchet is essentially an axe with a short handle) and can testify to this. I've never had the patience or skills to sharpen my hatchet so I just endure the dull edge the few times I need to use it. It certainly does require more exertion of strength as I more or less hack away at whatever I am trying to chop down!
The specific spiritual lesson is found in the latter part of the verse. "However, the advantage of wisdom is that it brings success." Wisdom is a major theme in the Book of Ecclesiastes which itself is part of the section in the Bible known as the "Wisdom Literature".
As God's children we need to be growing in our spiritual wisdom. This will in turn lead to success. I feel this is primarily speaking of spiritual success, living in a manner pleasing to the Lord and attaining the ultimate most important form of success which is hearing our Lord's words, "Well done, good and faithful servant". We are blessed to have the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make us wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. (see 2 Timothy 3:14-16).
May the Lord help us all to keep our axes sharp!
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily Prayer: Father we thank you for the truths expressed in Scripture that reveal the way to wisdom. Your Word states that if any of us lacks wisdom, we should ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to us. So we ask that we may present to You a heart of wisdom. This wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. As we attain that wisdom may our lives be as a sharpened axe, useful for the purpose You ordained, leading to a life that pleases You. In Jesus Name, Amen
I wrote a Daily Encouragement message called "Lessons From A Broken Axe"
A list of tools in the Bible.
For those who enjoy Bible quizzes: I was searching for a quiz on tools of the Bible. Some of you may find this Bible quiz site interesting. It does have a quiz that has some tool questions!!! (Quiz 52 Workers and Tools)
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Blessings" Video Laura Story This is one very thought-provoking song regarding how we perceive blessings from God. Here's the story behind the song, a good teaching!
"Everything We Need" Video Acapella
"Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise" Video Jaron and Katherine Kamin
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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
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