"The Frying Pan"
December 9, 2013
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, You will not despise. Psalms 51:17
Out of the frying pan into the fire.
That would describe the situation on Thanksgiving Eve when two men went bargain shopping at the Kohl's Department Store in Romeoville, Illinois. Apparently, these fellows were looking for a 100 percent discount. The store employees watched the would-be shoplifters and called the police.
Now a shoplifting charge is not a major offense, but these fellows didn't like the idea of being arrested. That's why they ran to their car and began to drive away. Unfortunately for them, one of the officers was hanging on to their car. Seeing his partner being dragged by the vehicle, the second officer opened fire and wounded the shoplifter-driver. Both the driver and the officer he had dragged were taken to the hospital. The shoplifter had gone from the frying pan into the fire as the charges against him now included resisting arrest and endangering the life of an officer.
The Bible is absolutely chock full of people who, like these two, have done that which moved them from the frying pan into the fire. Adam and Eve ate from the forbidden fruit, and then they tried to hide from God. That's going from the frying pan into the fire. King David committed adultery and then added murder to his list of crimes. That's going from the frying pan into the fire. Peter denied Jesus in the high priest's courtyard, and then he added a few oaths to make himself more believable. Peter also had moved himself from the frying pan into the fire.
It's not surprising the Holy Spirit decided to include all those examples in Scripture. He knew how human beings, in a desire to cover up their wrongdoing, often ended up doing that which increased that wrongdoing and guilt.
Can you not think of a time when you were caught doing something wrong and then you lied to cover your sin? How many times have we broken a promise to someone and then invented an elaborate cover-up to justify our sin? I could go on, but it's simply not necessary.
Humans do things that move them from the frying pan into the fire.
And that is something which is not acceptable or pleasing to the Lord. He sent His only Son into this world to seek and save the lost -- to be a Physician to those whose souls were sick with sin, to be the Shepherd who calls back the wandering sheep.
We insult Him and deny His sacrifice when we maintain we are not lost, we are not sick, and we haven't wandered.
No, the Lord wishes His sinful children to acknowledge their wrongdoing and then come to Him and ask for His forgiveness, mercy and grace. Those things He is glad to give to all who know Jesus can remove us from the frying pan and the fire.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, my prayer today is that You will be merciful to me a sinner. Grant me a spirit which acknowledges my wrongdoing and depends on the crucified and risen Savior for forgiveness and salvation. In Jesus' Name I ask it. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries