ODJ: boiling water

March 11, 2015 

READ: Hosea 6:1-7 

Come, let us return to the LORD (v.1).

In the classic tale of the two frogs, one is placed into a pot of boiling water and is so shocked by the experience that it quickly jumps out. The other is lowered into a pot of cold water over a low heat. The heat is gradually turned up to boiling point, but the frog doesn’t realise the subtle change in temperature and allows itself to slowly boil to death.

This well-known and somewhat gruesome anecdote makes me think of the effects of sin. There are times when sin is so blatant and vile that we’re quick to flee the temptation. There are other times, however, when we’re lulled into thinking we can linger after work with an attractive colleague rather than get home to our spouse or leave a few important details off of our yearly tax return. The next thing we know, the heat of our sin has reached a boiling point and we’re feeling the sting of spiritual death.

God shows us the way out of temptation and we need to heed the warning and flee or we risk getting badly burned (1 Corinthians 10:13; 2 Timothy 2:22-24). The prophet Hosea showed the people of Israel a way out of the awful consequences of their sin by urging them to repent and return to the LORD (Hosea 6:1). He encouraged them to seek the LORD and press on to know Him, and as they did so, he assured them that they would always know His faithful presence (v.3).

A pastor from Chicago was so serious about preventing immoral behaviour on the job that he had a glass door installed in every office in the church. It was a practical way of helping his staff steer clear of the desire to succumb to temptation. In what practical ways will you avoid sin that can ‘boil you alive’?

Ruth O’Reilly-Smith

365-day plan: Judges 14:1-20

Read 1 Corinthians 6:18 and consider what it reveals about how to avoid the scalding ways of sin. 
How have you found sin to be sneaky, creeping up on you unexpectedly? What will help you to be better prepared for sin and its subtle attacks?