Caulfield Evangelical Methodist Church
- Weekly Pastoral Message -

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"Continuing steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine" Acts 2:42

Weekly Pastoral Message prepared by Rev. Murray Adamthwaite
for Sunday 19th October 1997

From the Pastor: Curious Comparisons III

"Like vinegar to the teeth and smoke to the eyes, so is the lazy one to those who send him." Proverbs 10:26

Expressions come and go in language: familiar sayings from our young days have now gone out of fashion, while the "in lingo" of today's youth sounds strange in the ears of the older generation. One of today's "in" responses to provocation is to call it a "pain": taxes are a pain, salesmen are a pain, young Johnny is a pain to his parents, etc.

In the text above two separate things have one thing in common: they are a pain! The first is vinegar: not exactly the vinegar familiar to us, which is from fermented grape stalks and strong in acetic acid. The word denotes instead sour wine, he result of uncontrolled fermentation of normal grapes which quickly become sour or sharp-tasting, since it is also high in acid content, just like our vinegar. Such is a pain to the teeth, also the gums, and promotes tooth decay (many in ancient times were dental cripples).

Likewise, smoke is a pain or irritant to the eyes. Now comes the punch line: so too is a lazy employee to his employer. How practical is Biblical wisdom! When someone wants to loaf on the job does he think of the effect that will have on his employer? More particularly, if work is properly for Christ and not men (Ephesians 6:6), how does the conduct of our work daily work appear to our Lord? Is it like vinegar, or like honey, in His mouth?

Forth in Thy Name, O Lord, I go,
My daily labour to pursue.
Thee, only Thee resolved to know,
In all I think, or speak, or do.

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Caulfield Evangelical Methodist Church
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