Food for Friday

…how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. Galatians 4:9-10

In his play Julius Caesar, William Shakespeare introduces a soothsayer character who warns Caesar to ‘beware the ides of March’, but Caesar mocks him. When the ides of March arrived, a conspiracy unfolded in which Caesar was stabbed to death on the steps of the senate. Ever since Shakespeare wrote that play, the ides – or 15th – of March has been regarded as unlucky. Many people dread the day, and anticipate all sorts of calamities occurring to them on the ides of March. And, of course, it usually does. Human nature is such that, when we expect bad things to happen, we notice every bad thing that does happen, even those things that would never bother us at other times. Like all other superstitions, the ides of March is just another example of the weak and beggarly elements of the world that used to enslave us.

I know some Christians who read their horoscopes more regularly than they read their Bibles! This is shameful; no Christian should read those things, which are satanic in origin. The devil enjoys your reading them, though, and he will encourage you all he can. There are many superstitions that exist around us, and we should be careful that we give them no place in our lives. After all, it is your Heavenly Father Who will protect you from accidents, not your remembering to knock on wood. Think of the nonsense behind the belief that our lives are under the control of the phases of the moon, or that the positions of certain stars in the sky actually make a difference in whether we succeed or fail. Oh, I hear someone say, I don’t really mean anything by it. So why are you still enslaved into doing it?

The apostle is reminding the Galatians of the things from which they have been rescued. And he wonders why they have returned to those things. That’s a good question. Why would we ever want to go back to a time when our hope was in how successfully we managed to avoid black cats, broken mirrors, and overhead ladders. Even if those things had worked – which they never did – how could they ever hope to compete with the hope we have now? Throughout the night, our God remains awake to preserve us, and all day long, He guides our footsteps in the best possible paths. Our lives are secure in His keeping, and when our lives here end, our eternity is even more secure than our lives have been.

God has granted us a great freedom, in which He directs and guides. Let us not allow the trash of the past to clutter our pathway, even on this ides of March. – Jim MacIntosh

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