Fountain of Life... Or Scorched?

Written by Cheryl Erasmus

While pondering the Fear of Lord and its many blessings, I also came on the following verse which made my whole being cry out “No Lord, not that!”

Amos 8:11  I will send a famine through the land—not a famine of food or thirst for water, but a FAMINE OF HEARING THE WORDS OF THE LORD. 

The bleakness of such an expectation left a sense of an indescribable loneliness...which then led to this short study.  The realisation at the end of our study we should be able to say, “I can choose to live where there is a fountain of life or a scorched desolate land—choice is mine”

The battle that takes place in our minds is often harsh and debilitating, leading to desolation within our spirits and even a lack of hearing from God.

You conceive chaff, you give birth to straw, your breath is a fire that consumes you Isaiah 33:11

And also the next verse, especially when read in the first person!

He who is pregnant with evil and conceives trouble gives birth to disillusionment.  He who digs a hole and scoops it out falls into the pit he has made.  The trouble he causes recoils on himself; his violence comes down on his own head. Psalm 7:14-16.

How often do we spend hours and even days, months etc. thinking about things of no substance or foundation.  We draw nonsensical conclusions from scrappy information that has come to our attention, and then think about how disadvantaged we have been. Or we think about valueless things, wrongs undeservedly done to us or beat ourselves up about past mistakes and mishaps and regrets and even unmet expectations.  There are traps set up in this world system that can entangle us, leading us down the garden path as we justify our behaviour, desires and deeds.

We conceive chaff in our minds—rubbish to be discarded.

How many times have we then found ourselves in a dark hole of depression?  “I didn’t deserve that!  I am worth more than that!  So-and-so had no right to treat me like that!” and so on…  There is no fruitfulness in a mind-set like that.  There are no positive or valued consequences to these thinking patterns.  Soon all this is followed by loss of hope and filled to the brim discouragement, which only leads to further introspection.

We have given birth to straw—dry grass that the Egyptians used to have the slaves make bricks
If that were the end of it all, perhaps there are some who could justify pondering on the valueless chaff.  But it is not.  The thoughts that befuddle our minds, become words spoken either as gossip to others or in direct conflict or hurt to the perceived cause of our trouble.  The words spoken become a fire that consumes us, hurts us and destroys us.  But not only you and me, also those on the receiving end of our fiery tongues.

Our breath is a fire that consumes us and we find ourselves in a scorched land OF OUR OWN MAKING when we gave ear to valueless words and ideas. Praise God He does not leave us to our own devices and consequences but with every temptation provides a way of escape.

Proverbs 10:11, 12  The mouth of the righteous is a FOUNTAIN OF LIFE but violence overwhelms the mouth of the wicked… Love covers all wrongs.

It is therefore obvious that our mouths are an outlet of either life or destruction.  But my mouth can only be righteous in Jesus Christ who purchased this robe of righteousness for me at great price but freely gives me the choice to clothe myself in its pure cloth.  As children of God we have access to His righteousness and consequently this fountain of life!!

So what is next step?          
  • Do not judge others cause the same measure will used against you (Matthew 7:1)
  • Stop judging by mere appearances (John 7:24)
  • God does not judge by external appearance (Galatians 2:6)
  • There is only one Lawgiver and Judge… who are you to judge your neighbour (James 4:12)

We have looked at the “do not's…” but it all leaves a bit of a bitter taste in the mouth with a unhealthy dose of condemnation.

The Fountain of Life is found when we think about and practice Paul’s instruction in Philippians 4:4-9

Rejoice in the Lord always.  I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.  Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think on such things.  Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice.  And the God of peace will be with you.

So we can choose water from the fountain of life
or the fire of destruction — our thoughts, meditation and tongues will direct the path chosen.

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