SCRIPTURE: Joshua 24:27 (TM) – larger reading Joshua 24:16-28
Joshua spoke to all the people: "This stone is a witness against us. It has heard every word that God has said to us. It is a standing witness against you lest you cheat on your God."
A pig ate his fill of acorns under an oak tree and then started to root around the tree. A crow remarked, "You should not do this. If you lay bare the roots, the tree will wither and die." "Let it die," said the pig. "Who cares as long as there are acorns?"
Here I raise mine Ebenezer;
hither by thy help I’m come;
and I hope, by thy good pleasure,
safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger,
wandering from the fold of God;
he, to rescue me from danger,
interposed his precious blood.
The old preacher would ask: “Can I get a witness?” Someone, anyone who would be a faithful witness to the truth of the message. Isn’t it true for most of us that we would rather easily trade in our witness for a few meager “acorns”?
Oh, we think we are being faithful, but silence fills the void. We think we are being righteous – reading our Bible, having our daily devotion, worshipping regularly – and yet it is those little things that creep in and convince us (or at least try to convince us) that everything is alright, that we haven’t done anything wrong, that our witness is still solid.
We have become tone deaf to the murmurs of the crowd, the shaking heads, the lackluster response of others. They see what we fail to see… a person who has tipped over our Ebenezer stone – our faithful witness – our testimony … all for a few meager “acorns”… “Cheating God” as suggested in the Joshua verses.
But God keeps the door open. God still stands on the watchtower waiting for his child, his precious child to return home. Grace is still available. Forgiveness is still an option. The Ebenezer can be righted. The witness can continue, but like the prodigal son in Luke 15 we still have to come to the awareness that we have sinned against God and all that is righteous.
It is just determining which is more important – the “acorns” or the Tree of Life.
Eternal God we’ve all been there. Some of us are still there. Beat some sense into our gray matter so that our spirit will desire to return to you.