“…What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” Luke 11:11-13
If you think back to your high school days, you might recall your teacher speaking about “rhetorical questions.” Rhetorical questions are queries that have an answer so obvious it doesn’t call for a reply. Jesus’ question about a father giving his son a scorpion’s egg instead of a fish might easily be classified as a rhetorical question.
Today, I also have a rhetorical question. Which mother will, when her child asks for a potato, substitute a hand grenade? Silly? Not necessarily. Last week, Olga Mauriello, an Italian mother, purchased some potatoes at a Naples market. She put the potatoes in water to soak off the dirt. A few minutes later, she began to peal the spuds for supper. Olga was shocked to find one of her soaking potatoes was a hand-grenade left over from World War II. Olga called her neighbors. Her neighbors called the police, and the police took the half-century-old grenade and safely detonated it a local park.
So, which mother among you would give your family a hand-grenade for dinner? No need to answer. It simply wouldn’t happen. Nor would our loving Father give us a gift that would hurt us. In his Epistle, James wrote, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” (James 1:17) James wanted us to know Jesus was telling the truth. The circumstances of our lives may change, but God remains constant. There is no variation in the love He has for His children.
As Christians, we expect nothing less. The Father promised to send His Son into this world to be our Redeemer, so that our salvation might be won. The constancy of God’s grace was proven as His Son lived a life of rejection, denunciation, and accusation. The depth of God’s love can be measured when we stand at the foot of Calvary’s cross and before the empty tomb.
While it is impossible for me to say what evils may beset you, or what difficulties are discouraging you, I do know this. Even as you want what is best for your children, God has promised to do what is best for you. In that confidence, we pray the following.
THE PRAYER: Dear Heavenly Father, forgive those times when I lay this world’s problems at Your feet. Let your Spirit lead me to trust You in all situations and circumstances. Grant me the faith to know that You will not give a scorpion or a hand-grenade to answer my needs and prayers. In your Son’s name, Amen.
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