October 15, 2020
Volume 24, Number 37
Pompeii was the scene of a horrific tragedy in 79 AD Nearby Mount Vesuvius erupted, showering the nearby city with hot ashes, lava, and destruction. It happened so suddenly it essentially “froze” people and animals living there. Archaeologists have unearthed some chilling scenes of everyday life unexpectedly coming to an end.
Nicole (no last name given) was a 15-year-old Canadian who visited Pompeii in 2005. When she left the city she took with her some pieces of tile and remnants of a vase. But recently Nicole returned these to a travel agency in Pompeii, with a letter explaining her reason for making the return. It was more than a guilty conscience.
Since taking these artifacts, she explained, her life had been marked by misfortune. She has suffered two bouts of breast cancer, and her family has experienced financial setbacks. The reason for all of this misery, she believes, was because of an apparent curse on the Pompeii objects. She hopes their return will finally break that curse.
Long before Nicole and before Mount Vesuvius erupted, Achan experienced a tragic end for a similar reason. Achan was one of the Israelites who were entering Canaan, the land God had promised to Abraham as the inheritance for his descendants. Before assaulting Jericho, a mighty and fortified city, God gave clear instructions.
“And you, by all means abstain from the accursed things, lest you become accursed when you take of the accursed things, and make the camp of Israel a curse, and trouble it” (Joshua 6:18). Joshua relayed these instructions to the people, but Achan didn’t resist the beautiful garment, the silver shekels, and the wedge of gold he stumbled upon (Joshua 7:21). But he should have resisted, as the following verses show.
Paul also had something to say about not partaking of forbidden objects. He quoted from Isaiah 52:11: “Therefore, ‘Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you'” (2 Corinthians 6:17). If they ignored the warning and touched the unclean, would God receive them?
To understand the point Paul was making we need to go back to verse 14: “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14).
Christians are called to be a people separated from the world. Peter put it this way: “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9). Those who remain in darkness will suffer the curse.
Let’s learn from Nicole and rid ourselves of all of our “cursed objects”.
Come to the light God offers! Study His word, the Bible. Worship Him in spirit and truth (John 4:24). Get in touch with us if you’d like to discuss these ideas further.
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Copyright, 2020, Timothy D. Hall. All scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from the New King James Version (Copyright, 1990, Thomas Nelson, Inc.).
“LightGrams” is produced by the Central Church of Christ, 2722 Oakland Avenue, Johnson City, Tennessee, 37601, and is written by Tim Hall, minister. It is sent free of charge every Thursday to all who request it. To subscribe or to receive more information, write to “Tim@GraceMine.org” (our E-mail address), to the U.S. mail address above, or call (423) 282-1571.
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