I have always held and maintained that a man should keep faith where it is expressly pledged. This is the bedrock upon which is based all relationships of man with man.”
–Eugene Manlove Rhodes (Good Men and True)
“Show me this loyalty as my sworn friend–for we made a solemn pact before the LORD–or kill me yourself if I have sinned against your father. But please don’t betray me to him!”
–1 Samuel 20:8 (NLT)
I came across this story in a little study I was doing on the king’s of Israel and Judah. Ponder it for a few minutes.
A guitarist was asked, “How do you make it seem like your guitar sings?”
His Reply: “It’s like anything else in life. You need to have sensitivity to
deal effectively with a situation, a person, and in my case, with my guitar.
“These calluses on the fingertips of my left hand prove my sensitivity
toward my instrument. I cost me some pain to be a sensitive musician.
“The calluses have not really made me insensitive to pain. Oh, my
fingertips don’t hurt anymore when I play–but the calluses are reminders. Re-
minders of the pain I went through to become sensitive toward my instrument. The
practicing hurt. But past the pain was great satisfaction.” (taken from Old
So here is my question: have you developed calluses to make you sensitive to life?
I remember as a kid I would practice hours upon hours. After practice at school I would come home and practice some more. My hands were “soft” and few grounds balls got through my position. Hours were spent working on doubleplays until it almost became second nature.
To be sensitive toward life there must be pain of some sort. How can you truly be sensitive toward someone who has lost a loved one if you have not? Calluses develop, and not in the bad sense of the word. They make you so you can deal with life and others in a proper manner.
Have you ever gotten close enough to the campfire to feel the heat? How about close enough to get burned? Isaiah has a burning coal taken from the altar and placed upon his lips. Instead of burning and blistering them, the fire cleansed them.
In the fire of the furnace of Babylon the three Hebrew children found the Son of God and He walked with them in the midst and they were not singed, but the heat from the furnace killed several of the guards. Moses saw the fire, and God spoke to him from it. The fire also rested and guided Israel at night through the wilderness.
The fire of God came down and consumed the sacrifice and even “licked up” the water when Elijah prayed. Fire is a devourer as is the Holy Spirit. Fire is one of the most significant symbols of the Spirit. He will burn out all of the dross that is in our hearts, purging and cleansing us. And we cannot forget those terrible words of warning, both to the believer and the unbeliever, “Our God is a consuming fire.”