WHAT are known as petrifying waters have the property of turning the softest bit of wood, immersed therein for a time, to the hardness of stone.
Sin indulged by the Christian produces a like result. He who at one time was impressionable to the slightest touch of God's Word, becomes seared and past feeling. Profession may be as loud as ever; but the ways of such become a grief to the godly, and an offence to Christ.
Genesis xxxv. opens with a call from God to Jacob, that he should go up to Bethel, there dwell, and there rear his altar to God. The word from God searched Jacob as to his present condition. Hence Jacob's call to his household to put away their strange gods and be clean. Sad it is when such a state of matters exists as is here shown, but the readiness with which the strange gods were given up proved their hearts were yet tender. The favour of God was upon them, in that He made their way safe. As for the strange gods, they were left behind, buried under the great oak at Shechem.
Turning to Joshua xxiv., we find Israel, now a mighty nation, called together to Shechem to hear the last words of Joshua, their mighty captain. In their ears, he recounted the goodness of God unto them, and earnestly besought them to put away their strange gods and serve the Lord only. Again and again did they respond, saying, "We will serve the Lord only." But although Joshua stood under the great oak, under which the gods of Jacob's household were buried, he got no others to lay beside them. The incidents point their own solemn lesson. Sin indulged had resulted in the hardening being fully wrought, and now it might be said of them, "They feared the Lord and served their own gods."
"Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. But exhort one another daily, while it is called To-day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin" (Heb. iii. 12, 13).
"The Witness" 1890