Monday Reflection


8th February 2021

...walk round a ladder...

"No temptation has overtaken you
 except what is common to mankind.
 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."

.... 1 Corinthians 10:13

I used to be fairly superstitious,
probably no more than the average person.
I would walk round a ladder
rather than go under it
and avoid anything associated
with the number 13
e.g. I'd avoid a railway carriage
or a seat with the number 13 on it.

I had no defence against these
silly superstitions,
and would change my behaviour
because of them.

But God taught me a lesson.
I was reading through Exodus 23
when I came across verse 19b,

'Do not boil a kid
 in the milk of its mother.'

Now this seems like another
weird food taboo from
the Law of Moses.
But it intrigued me and
prompted me to investigate further.

I found that this was a Canaanite
ritual to ensure fertility.
What God was telling the Hebrews
in this verse was to remember,
in everything, the power is his.

This Canaanite fertility ritual
is both meaningless and futile,
plus it is idolatrous.

This ritual was a superstition;
an act that was meaningless in
both science and Christianity,
ineffective in both the natural
and supernatural realms.

God was telling the Hebrews,
'Do not be superstitious.'
That message spoke to me -
now I can sit in a seat numbered 13
in carriage 13,
my superstitions were absurd,
and God showed me a way of escape.

I have overcome far greater
obstacles in my life,
with God's help
(too many to go into now!)
But I would like to point out
that the second step in the
Alcoholics Anonymous program
parallels our Bible verse for today;

'[We] came to believe that a
Power greater than ourselves
could restore us to sanity.'
(No I haven't had to use the program -
But I came into contact
with many who had,
through my work as a
prison chaplain).

Temptations to sin are powerful,
for Satan is more powerful
that we are.
All of us are tempted in one way
or another throughout our lives.

There is no temptation so unusual
that somebody else has not faced it.
There is no temptation so great that
God cannot overcome it.
There is no temptation so great
that God will not help us
to resist it;
we just have to ask him,
for God's Spirit is the most
powerful force in the universe.

But it's in the asking;
as a young man St Augustin prayed.
"Lord, make me chaste
(sexually pure) -
but not yet!"

We do not need to let our pride,
greed or even silly superstitions,
control our behaviour.
We many have committed
a specific sin many times;
we may be so attached to it
that we ignore it or
try to rationalise it.

But the Bible promises us,
we can overcome it,
because God will give us
the power to overcome
any temptation.

I have a plaque on one
of my kitchen cupboards;
it's my first 'Go-to'
when I come downstairs
in the morning and regularly
visited throughout the day
(the cupboard contains
the tea/coffee) - it says;

'Lord, help me to realise
that nothing can happen today
that you and I can't
handle together.'

Thanks be to God
that he never fails us.

It may be interesting to watch,
or just listen to a song
'I need thee every hour '
sung by Salt of the Sound
via the link shown below.