I was visiting a church recently and a gentleman got up to make some announcements. During the course of his speech he went on to quote a passage from Scripture that I still haven’t been able to find. “Like it says in the Bible”, he declared, “Don’t judge a man until you’ve walked a mile in his shoes”. Now I think this is good advice (especially since by the time you judge him you will be a mile away and have his shoes) but I’m quite sure that it is not in the Bible.
Have you ever noticed that when a phrase becomes a familiar adage or has a proverbial ring to it, somehow it seems like it must be true or even scriptural? But just because something sounds true doesn’t make it so.
This morning I was just thinking about some old adages that the Devil must love. Over the next few days I will list a few that I think must be his favorites. Maybe you can help me add to the list.
#1. What You Don’t Know Won’t Hurt You
This story was written in Christianity Today (1993). Alila stood on the beach holding her tiny infant son close to her heart. Tears welled in her eyes as she began slowly walking toward the river’s edge. She stepped into the water, silently making her way out until she was waist deep, the water gently lapping at the sleeping baby’s feet. She stood there for a long time holding the child tightly as she stared out across the river. Then all of a sudden in one quick movement she threw the six month old baby to his watery death.
Native missionary M.V. Varghese often witnesses among the crowds who gather at the Ganges. It was he who came upon Alila that day kneeling in the sand crying uncontrollably and beating her breast. With compassion he knelt down next to her and asked her what was wrong. Through he sobs she told him, “The problems in my home are too many and my sins are heavy on my heart, so I offered the best I have to the goddess Ganges, my first born son.” Brother Varghese’s heart ached for the desperate woman. As she wept he gently began to tell her about the love of Jesus and that through Him her sins could be forgiven. She looked at him strangely. “I have never heard that before,” she replied through her tears. “Why couldn’t you have come thirty minutes earlier? If you did, my child would not have had to die.”
In Second Kings 7 we read that the city of Samaria had been surrounded and besieged by the Syrians who were basically waiting to starve the Samarians out of the city. The situation within the walls was so dire the Bible says that a donkey’s head was sold for 80 pieces of silver, and a quarter of a piece of dove’s dung sold for five pieces of silver. How many of you know, that when you are eating horses heads and dove’s dung, you are hungry!! In fact the people were so hungry that the Bible tells one story of two mothers who were fighting because they had eaten the one mothers child and then when it came time to eat the other mother’s child it was nowhere to be found.
Then the Lord intervened. In the middle of the night, God caused the Syrians to hear a sound like a mighty army riding towards them and they were so afraid that they ran for their lives and left all of their things behind. Outside the walls there were thousands of tents filled with food and wine, clothes and money. Meanwhile, inside the walls people were dying of hunger.
And then the story goes on to tell about a group of lepers who decided that since their lives weren’t worth much anyways, they might as well take their chances and venture outside the walls in search for food. When they saw that the Syrian camp was completely deserted, they found themselves in the middle of a smorgasbord that makes Golden Corral look like a soup kitchen. As they were gorging themselves, one of the lepers looked up at his friends with guilt written all over his face. He put down his half-eaten turkey leg and said, “We do not well: this day is a day of good tidings, and we hold our peace…” (v.9)
The adage “What you don’t know wont hurt you” is simply garbage. “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” the prophet cried (Hos. 4:6). What Alila didn’t know cost her the life of her son. What the Samarians didn’t know was starving them to death. Food was available to them, but they didn’t know it. Nourishment was available, but they didn’t know it. Salvation was available, but they didn’t know it and they would have all died of starvation if those old lepers hadn’t realized that it was wrong to keep this “good news” to themselves. The truth is that what don’t know could kill you.
This is eternal life: to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you sent. (John 17:3)
Today there are more than 3-billion people in the world that have never heard about Jesus Christ. What they don’t know will not only hurt them but send them to Hell. What are you going to do about it?