Greased Poles

January 25, 2017
Volume 22, Number 4

Entertainment was harder to find in “the old days”. I remember being at the city park for a July 4th celebration when I was young. One of the highlights of the day was watching men trying to climb a telephone pole to retrieve a $10 bill on top (a lot of money back then!). To make the task harder, someone had greased the pole in advance. Talk about a slippery task!

Recently the city of Philadelphia greased the utility poles in certain areas. With the NFC Championship Game approaching, officials feared the extreme actions many Eagles fans might take, including climbing utility poles. The grease, they reasoned, would make such shenanigans less likely.

Dottie’s Donuts, a sweet shop in Philadelphia, decided to honor the bizarre public work by producing “Greased Poles”, pastries that vaguely resemble utility poles slathered with grease – except the pastries were covered with icing. We’re told these treats were an immediate hit with Eagles fans.

Neither utility poles nor donuts are mentioned in Scripture, but slippery places are. One example is Psalm 73:18. After seething over how evil people never seem to suffer bad things, Asaph was shown the truth by God: “Surely You set them in slippery places; You cast them down to destruction.” The downfall of the wicked may not always happen in this life, but the writer was assured that such a day was coming.

The thought appeals to anyone who has suffered wrongdoing at the hands of the wicked. Even David felt this desire to see God’s vengeance against those “who seek after my life … who plot my hurt. … Let their way be dark and slippery, and let the angel of the Lord pursue them” (Psalm 35:4,6). Such men sought to bring harm to many, and David wanted to see their paths thwarted.

How does God feel about such desires to see vengeance? Let’s hear God speak on the subject in Jeremiah 23:11,12: “’For both prophet and priest are profane; yes, in My house I have found their wickedness,’ says the Lord. ‘Therefore their way shall be to them like slippery ways; in the darkness they shall be driven on and fall in them; for I will bring disaster on them, the year of their punishment,’ says the Lord.”

Many who read this will remember scenes from the movie, “Home Alone”, in which the young boy foils the attempts of robbers by creating icy patches on the sidewalk and steps. Those scenes brought howls of laughter from audiences; we were happy to see the plans of dishonest men spoiled.

God knows how to make paths slippery for those whose intent is to practice sin.

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.


Copyright, 2018, Timothy D. Hall. All scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from the New King James Version (Copyright, 1990, Thomas Nelson, Inc.).

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