A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.
Thursday, June 17, 2021
"A Lesson From A Polluted Fountain"
Message summary: So many are giving "way before the wicked". All month long we have been subjected to a celebration of evil, with so many companies, stores, and technology clamoring to get in on the "woke" action. Far too many churches are not taking a strong stand and have ceased to make a faithful declaration of God's standards regarding life, sexuality, gender distinctions and marriage. Walking a middle road is surely not what is needed but rather a clarion call to God's standards.
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"Like a muddied spring or a polluted fountain is a righteous man who gives way before the wicked" (Proverbs 25:26). "Keep yourself pure" (1 Timothy 5:22). "All who have this hope in Him (Christ) purify themselves, just as He is pure" (1 John 3:3).
Audrey's is a wholesale gift and home decor company in rural Lebanon County where we serve as chaplains as mentioned in previous posts over the years, located about six miles outside of Lebanon on a scenic country road. The entrance is very attractive with a variety of annual flowers along with a sizeable fountain. (Photo on Google street view.)
Ken, one of the owners, shared about an interesting sight he had viewed in the fountain, after pouring some bleach in the water to kill the algae. I have had this same experience with my small fountains. Anyone who has a fountain wants the water to be clear and clean and thus the sodium hypochlorite (AKA bleach) treatment.
Ken said the water had become very bubbly and from the photo we share above it appears to look like packed snow or even a mini iceberg. Now that would be quite a phenomenon with the hot weather we have been having.
Interestingly there is a reference to bleach in the Bible, although not in all translations. Describing the transfiguration Mark records concerning Jesus, "There He was transfigured before them. His clothes became dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them" (Mark 9:2,3).
Ken's goal was to clean his fountain. Even our small fountain with a pump circulating water gets muddy (a greenish/brownish yukky color) and polluted which is not a very appealing sight. I periodically turn it over and spray it out and have used bleach as well. But if the weather is hot in several weeks I will need to clean it again even though the water is circulating. That's an illustration of our ongoing need to "Keep yourself pure".
Tim, a friend from another company, shared today's first text with me the other day. He is preparing a Bible lesson for a group of youth and is stressing the need to be Christ's disciples, following Him in obedience and holiness.
This text is typical of the teaching style in the Proverbs, drawing an analogy from something physical to make a spiritual point. "Like a muddied spring or a polluted fountain is a righteous man who gives way before the wicked" (Proverbs 25:26).
Well, most all of us know what muddy water looks like as well as the detriment of pollution, especially if we're desiring to drink the water. That's the timeless illustrative nature of the Proverb. So what is "a muddied spring or a polluted fountain" like? "A righteous man who gives way before the wicked".
So many are giving "way before the wicked". All month long we have been subjected to a celebration of evil, with so many companies, stores, and technology clamoring to get in on the "woke" action. Far too many churches are not taking a strong stand and have ceased to make a faithful declaration of God's standards regarding life, sexuality, gender distinctions and marriage. Walking a middle road is surely not what is needed but rather a clarion call to God's standards.
Paul wrote, "Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is" (Ephesians 5:15-17).
Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, Solomon describes the mouth of the righteous as a “well of life,” because it brings refreshment, comfort, and wise counsel to the weary.* But the stark contrast is also presented when a righteous man yields to pressure from the wicked. Instead of a well of life he is compromised; he no longer has a pure heart but a divided one and cannot give wise counsel or model righteousness. Instead of a well of life he is like a polluted fountain. Lord, we want to keep ourselves pure, uncompromised and unshaken by the prevailing philosophies and behaviors that contradict Your pure Holy Word. Amen.
Yesterday we wrote about neighbors and Ken, a longtime reader now living in Kansas, shared this thoughtful perspective:
Today’s encouragement on neighbors and being neighborly is a message that our country needs to hear and follow at this point in our history.
It also reminded me of a conversation several years ago, when I was involved in Workplace Ministry through the Salvation Army Northern New England Division. I was talking with the Divisional Commander as he was contemplating a proposed expansion of the program. We were identifying the importance of this ministry and I posited for him that the workplace is the new neighborhood. In this I suggested that we are more friendly with our workplace colleagues than we are with our neighbors and know more about them that we do our neighbors. He paused a moment and reflected that in his own neighborhood he could only identify one neighbor by name and did not have a personal relationship with any of his neighbors, though he saw them all each evening. It was obvious that the Spirit was bringing conviction on him about this and he immediately approved the proposal I had put forth for the Workplace Ministry Program.
Two or three days later he stopped by my office and reported that he had intentionally taken walks in his neighborhood each evening and began to have conversations with those who outside in their yards. All the conversations were positive and helped him establish new relationships and the beginnings of planning a block party.
Lord have mercy on us and forgive our overlooking our neighbors.
Brooksyne's added note: For the twenty years that we have lived in Mount Joy I have been a walker, most of the time I'm walking a dog(s), right here in my neighborhood. I have met so many people over the years and began a friendship as a result. Just last evening I met Courtney that lives about a mile up the road from me - probably half my age but we found so much in common. Our dearest friends who are like family to us are the Lapps (Old Windmill Farm) who lived in our neighborhood till about 15 years ago. I met them right after they got married in 2002 and moved here by walking past their home on my daily walks. They moved back to Strasburg about five years later but distance has not kept us from remaining very close.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Stand Strong" Video Hylander Singing Men
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