When the owner of the gun shop in Hull, Massachusetts was offered the Civil War relic for $1,000, he saw it for what it was. The 15-pound cannonball still had a fuse attached, so he said, “That looks live to me. Out the door, please.” He wanted nothing to do with a potential catastrophe.
That cannonball had been sitting inside the home of Bruce Westcott for more than a year. An avid “picker”, he had bought the box full of items, but had only recently looked through it. After hearing the gun store owner’s assessment, Westcott called the police. They evacuated the neighborhood, removed the bomb to a landfill, and detonated it. In this place the explosion resulted in no harm to anyone.
Most of us would not imagine a century-and-a-half-old bomb to still be lethal. Surely over that period of time the fuse would no longer work, or the explosives inside would be damp and impotent. In making such assumptions we would be wrong.
I doubt that any of our readers have Civil War ordnance in their homes. But do we willingly bring into our lives other influences that might be more deadly?
Achan, an Israelite who was part of the invasion into the strong city of Jericho, came upon some valuable spoil: gold, silver, and a costly garment (Joshua 7:20,21). He reasoned that it would do no harm to take those home, for he was part of the victorious army. “To the victor go the spoils” – right?
The problem was that all the spoils in this battle had been forbidden by the Lord (Joshua 6:18,19). What seemed harmless to Achan resulted in tragedy for him and his family (Joshua 7:22-26). It was as if he had buried a cannonball under his tent.
Are we immune to such foolishness? The wise man warned us to think again: “Can a man carry fire next to his chest and his clothes not be burned? Or can one walk on hot coals and his feet not be scorched? So is he who goes in to his neighbor’s wife; none who touches her will go unpunished” (Proverbs 6:27-29).
Cannonballs? They only inflict physical damage. We’re talking about a more difficult issue – sin. “For the wages of sin is death” Paul wrote in Romans 6:23. And the principle stated by Moses in Numbers 32:23 is still true: “… be sure your sin will find you out.”
There is One who can steer us away from dangers we can’t recognize on our own. Jesus came for this very purpose: “… I came that they may have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10). Let Jesus help you identify the bombs in your life.
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, 2017, Timothy D. Hall