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Monday, September 16, 2019

Chiques Rock overlook 9/15/19 (Click to enlarge)
The Chiques Rock lookout point over the Susquehanna River is a popular place to take friends on a Sunday afternoon. It was especially beautiful yesterday.
(Click to enlarge)

"The Foolishness of Trusting A Spider's Web"

Message summary: Today let us hide this important truth deep within our hearts: "Love the LORD, all his saints! The LORD preserves the faithful, but the proud He pays back in full. Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord" (Psalm 31:23,24).

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

"So are the paths of all who forget God; and the hope of the godless will perish, whose confidence is fragile, and whose trust is a spiderís web. He trusts in his house, but it does not stand; he holds fast to it, but it does not endure" (Job 8:13-15).

Spider webRegular duties in my lawn include picking up pet waste, one the lesser joys of pet ownership but someone's gotta do it! This morning I walked into a spider's web since our yard right now is a gauntlet of spider webs. As you walk your eyes tend to be focused on something distant and you don't see the spider web till you walk through it, and even then you may not see it. Then it's a rather spastic attempt to get the yucky stuff off hoping the spider was not in the web!

However, unlike it's intended design, I'm really not worried about getting tangled in the web or being eaten by the spider for breakfast. But spiders and their webs are creepy and I don't want a spider bite, poisonous or not!

Most of us consider spiders and their webs icky, but today let us draw a spiritual lesson from one of the only two obscure references to the spider mentioned in the Bible.

Job is a remarkable book. Probably when most of us consider Job we recall the tremendous trial he endured, but there are so many gems of wisdom throughout the book. Today's portion is from a discourse by Bildad the Shuhite, one of Job's friends. These three friends and their attempts to comfort Job were ultimately deficient but still contain some gems of wisdom.

The Scripture preceding our daily text has a timeless observation from nature: "Can papyrus grow tall where there is no marsh? Can reeds thrive without water? While still growing and uncut, they wither more quickly than grass"  (Job 8:11,12).

This is immediately followed by the statement in the daily text, "So are the paths of all who forget God; and the hope of the godless will perish."

A truth is then developed based on the observation of a spider's web: "whose confidence is fragile, and whose trust is a spiderís web".

God's intended purpose for the web is very efficient for its inhabitant. Spend some time observing nature and you will see the tiny creatures resting comfortably for hours on end in their customized webs waiting for prey.

But it would be absolutely foolish for me, as a human, to count on a spider web to provide hope for my eternal destiny! Such absurd thinking is described by Bildad in V. 15: "He trusts in his house, but it does not stand; he holds fast to it, but it does not endure."

A similar but far more familiar illustration is the teaching of Jesus about the man who built his house on the sand (Matthew 7:24-27).

Bildad illustrates what the majority of people do rather than put their hope, trust and reliance in the Lord. Today let us hide this important truth deep within our hearts: "Love the LORD, all His saints! The LORD preserves the faithful, but the proud He pays back in full. Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord" (Psalm 31:23,24).


Be encouraged today,


Stephen & Brooksyne Weber


Praying manDaily prayer: God, You are the only source of eternal life to whom we can cling though we're tempted to build our lives on that which does not last, much like one who "trusts in his house, but it does not stand; he holds fast to it, but it does not endure." We're reminded in Scripture that "The hope of the godless will perish, whose confidence is fragile, and whose trust is a spiderís web." Help us to remember that which has only earth's values can be compared to the fragility and time span of a spider's web in light of eternity. With eternity's values in view we will build our lives upon Christ who is our firm foundation now and forevermore. Amen.



Sadie at Star Barn 9/14/19
On Saturday Ester and I, Brooksyne, participated in the fun walk at the Star Barn for Brittany's Hope, a fundraiser for those adopting children with special needs. Dogs could also attend so Ester dressed Sadie up in a sundress (made for doggies). Sadie sure wowed those attending and especially caught the attention of the children who took turns petting her. Before we got drenched by a downpour Sadie was wearing a little pink bow on her left ear. A three year old girl knelt down to pet her and then turned to me and asked, "Did she put the bow on all by herself?" I'm still smiling as I think about her sweet, innocent question.
(Click to enlarge)

Calvary Church Choir 9/15/19
Calvary Church Choir led in worship yesterday. Several songs, including "Build My Life" that really goes with today's message, really spoke to my heart. Brooksyne will be singing again in the choir tonight during the Monday evening service.

And I will build my life upon your love it is a firm foundation
And I will put my trust in you alone and I will not be shaken.

Amish Sunday traffic, Lancaster County, PA 9/15/19
This car has a New York license plate and I considered that he or she may be thinking, "This sure doesn't look like the traffic I'm used to back home"!

Meeting House Road walk, Lancaster County, PA 9/15/19
What a busy and fun Sunday afternoon we enjoyed with our dear friends, the Lapps, who are like family to us. Following church Brooksyne and I drove our vehicles to Strasburg to bring the family of 9 to our house to spend the day. We ate a lot, talked a lot, played a lot with the children and walked the familiar trail. Back in 2003 Jesse and Anna began their married life as our neighbors and we often visited by walking on the trail to their house or vice versa. They moved back to Strasburg twelve years ago (25 miles from our house) but we have remained very close over the years and with the addition of each child whom we fondly call our "grandchildren". We talked over old times as we walked the familiar trail yesterday. When Ester's dog, Sadie Willow, was born in January  Sarah Beth  (seen in above photo) brought her into their house and nurtured her until Ester was able to bring her home in early March of this year, so it was like old times for Sadie and Sarah as well.

Stephen will be 2 on Friday but is already demonstrating his athleticism by throwing the rings to Mollie. Moses, the oldest, is 16 years old today so we had two birthday celebrations.



Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Build My Life"  Video  Housefires  

I will build my life upon your love it is a firm foundation
And I will put my trust in you alone
And I will not be shaken.

"Psalm 34"  Video  The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir

Finally Today:

Last week we shared a series of messages about tools in the Bible concluding with the files using this text:"Yet they had a file for the mattocks, and for the coulters, and for the forks, and for the axes, and to sharpen the goads" (1 Samuel 13:21).

Mike, who is the tool man for one of our companies explained what each of the other tools mentioned in this passage are:
  • mattocks - A mattock /ˈmśtək/ is a hand tool used for digging, prying, and chopping. Similar to the pickaxe, it has a long handle and a stout head which combines either a vertical axe blade with a horizontal adze (cutter mattock) or a pick and an adze (pick mattock).
  • coulters - A coulter or colter is a vertically mounted component of many plows that cuts an edge about 7 inches (18 cm) deep ahead of a plowshare.
  • forks - as in pitch fork
  • axes - still used today
  • goads - The goad is a traditional farming implement, used to spur or guide livestock, usually oxen, which are pulling a plough or a cart; used also to round up cattle. It is a type of long stick with a pointed end, also known as the cattle prod.

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLEģ, 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 make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."



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