Devotional: October 6th
Sometimes we humans can be deadly serious and wind up being outrageously funny. Don't know what I mean? Consider this. Every now and then we have the opportunity to make a statement and that statement results in being nowhere near as accurate as we meant it to be. In our seriousness (or seriocity as I like to call it) we use words that absolutely don't carry the intended meaning or else come across as a pun. It's all unintentional but it does, nonetheless, leave us bewildered and others laughing. The problem is, did we get the message?
Perhaps this is never more evident than in some of the signs that we attempt to post for people's information. One such sign was posted in an office; "Would the person who took the step ladder yesterday please bring it back or further steps will be taken." This sign was hanging outside a London disco; "Smarts is the most exclusive disco in town. Everyone welcome." How about this one posted on a roadside in Cape Cod; "Caution water on road during rain." What's frightening is that there must be people who don't realize that water gets on the road when it rains. I just hope they got the message.
Sometimes warning signs caring a definite deadly message. Then the second line makes the deadliness comic relief by completely ignoring what made the first part so deadly. Like this sign at a railroad station; "Beware! To touch these wires is instant death. Anyone found doing so will be prosecuted." It kind of reminds you of the old "airplane crash on the border of the U. S. and Canada" joke. Where do you bury the survivors? Problem is, that's a joke. The railroad sign was done completely in seriocity. But did people get the message?
There are those times when the information given is conflicting without deadly consequences. Such signs can leave us with our heads wagging that there are actually people whose minds think that way. A sign outside a new town hall is just such a situation; "The town hall is closed until opening. It will remain closed after being opened. Open tomorrow." That's a definite maybe with the probably that it will never happen but is supposed to tomorrow. Such signs rise out of people who either ignore information or don't process it logically. Like the Israelites under Moses and Joshua. They had made a sea crossing like no other. They walked across the Red Sea on dry ground with two huge walls of water on either side threatening to fall in on them and crush them and drown them at the same time.
When it came time to use the information they had amassed, i. e., God is in control, they completely lost it. Ten spies returned a report on the Promised Land that said the people were too big to conquer (Numbers 13:26-33). Forty years later, Joshua gave the people a statement that was deadly serious following the Israelites entering the Promised Land. He chose his words carefully (Joshua 24:14, 15) as he challenged the people to "choose whom you will serve." He left no doubt as to how he personally had processed all the information concerning God. "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." Get the message?
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