August 17, 2015
Do not enter the path of the wicked, and do not walk in the way of the evil. Avoid it; do not go on it; turn away from it and pass on. Proverbs 4:14-15
Roger Miller once sang a song with the opening lyrics: "Ya can't roller skate in a buffalo herd. Ya can't roller skate in a buffalo herd. Ya can't roller skate in a buffalo herd. But you can be happy if you've a mind to."
Well, I think it's time for us to change those lyrics to "Ya can't take a selfie in a buffalo herd."
The change in wording is motivated by a lady who, last month, was gored by a big bison as she tried to take a selfie with the beast in Yellowstone Park. Yup, the 43-year-old lady from Mississippi, along with her daughter, were standing with their backs to the bison, taking a selfie, when the beast charged them. Those who were there said it tossed the woman into the air and inflicted minor injuries.
The woman was lucky. Oh, along with being lucky, the lady was not alone.
She was the fifth visitor this year who was gored by a bison. Here's another way of saying that: this lady was the fifth visitor who totally ignored the posted signs that warn Yellowstone visitors that wildlife is, well, it's wild. You would think such information is obvious, wouldn't you? You certainly wouldn't think people have to be reminded again and again and again and again.
No, you wouldn't think it, but it's true. People need to be told about danger. They need to be repeatedly warned: "Do not enter the path of the wicked, and do not walk in the way of the evil. Avoid it; do not go on it; turn away from it and pass on."
And they need to be told to avoid temptation again and again and again.
Such warnings against temptation are made by the Lord because He cares for His wayward children. Goodness, He does more than care. So evil's hold on us might be broken our Triune God devised a plan in which Jesus would come to earth. Here Jesus would resist all the temptations which have managed to seduce us and undermine our once-perfect relationship with our Maker.
To do that Jesus had to perfectly keep all of the Lord's laws and say, "No!" to all of Satan's sly suggestions. Then, having done all this for an entire lifetime, Jesus had to shoulder our sins and carry them to the cross, where He offered Himself as our Substitute. It was a prodigious job, but Jesus did it.
His third-day resurrection from the dead says that His offering has been accepted. And now all who believe on Him are forgiven of each and every sin, which has touched their soul.
And now, in thanks, their lives are lived trying to avoid getting too close to evil.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I give thanks that Your Son resisted the temptation, which has proven so destructive to me. May my thanksgiving show to all the world the wonderful things Jesus can do for those who are given faith in Him. In Jesus' Name I pray it. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries