Summary: One struggle many Christians experience is being faithful continually. This sermon traces three scriptures to indicate how faithfulness needs to be practiced in our daily life.
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN
POST-IT PADS AND SUPER GLUE
Hope Christian Church
August 3, 2003
Dr. David L. Haun
All of us know about, and must of us use post-it notes. It is the most famous 3-M product ever produced. Post-it-notes was first developed in 1970 by Dr. Spencer Silver. The problem: the glue was weaker than what 3-M had already. It stuck, but would easily peel off. For about nine years it lay on a shelf, until another employee, Art Fry, found that it was good for marking hymns in his choir hymnal. That accidental discovery began a major market in Post-it-notes, and changed one part of most of our lives.(1)
Super glue, on the other hand, began its journey during WW II. A Dr. Harry Coover was attempting to develop a clear plastic for gunsights. But the product stuck to everything it touched and wasn’t usable. Then, in 1951 Coover tried the product a second time in an attempt to find a "tougher, more heat-resistant acrylate polymer for jet canopies. Again, it stuck together anything it touched. In Viet Nam, MASH units used it for medical sutures. It still is used in this way in Europe. However, its medical formula was expensive, and Research was condjucted to find a less expensive glue. This resulted in a product unfitted for medical work, but perfect for gluing many items, including fingers if you’re careless. (2)
Today, we will examine three Scriptures from the Old Testament that may be spiritual glue for our lives.
Our sermon will cover many years of history, and several generations of family. To begin, let’s touch three generations. The history begins with Abraham, whom God selected to be the father of his people. The generation then moves through Abraham’s son Isaac to the third generation of Esau and Jacob. You recall the Bible story of how Esau gave up his rights of the first born for a bowl of soup, and lost his father’s blessing through Jacob’s trickery.
The history continues. In fear that Esau might kill him for the deception, Jacob flees to Canaan. One night on the way, Jacob has a dream, which includes a ladder stretching from earth to heaven. As a result of this vision, Jacob names the place "Bethel," builds an altar and pledges his faithfulness to God. (Genesis 28:10-22)
Jacob’s situation and his family’s super glue decision
Now, years have pased. Jacob has fathered a family and has heard God’s call to return to the land of his father Isaac. The Bible descibes it:
Then God said to Jacob, "Go up to Bethel and settle there, and build an altar there to God, who appeared to you when you were fleeing from your brother Esau." So Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, "Get rid of the foreign gods you have with you, and purify yourselves and change your clothes. Then come, let us go up to Bethel, where I will build an altar to God, who answered me in the day of my distress and who has been with me wherever I have gone." So they gave Jacob all the foreign gods they had and the rings in their ears, and Jacob buried them under the oak at Shechem.
Genesis 35:1-4 New International Version)
Notice and remember these two actions taken in the Scripture. First, the people were urged by Jacob, and agreed to get rid of the foreign gods accumulated through the years. Secondly, these false gods were buried by Jacob under an oak tree at Schechem.
What we see here is that God always loves and calls for His children’s return. And we are always looking.
The post-it faith of Israel and it’s failure
Additional years and generations pass. Israel has served Egypt in slavery. Moses has led them to the borders of Canaan, and Joshua has led them in a successful battle. Following the victory of Jericho, a simple skirmish lies ahead. Spys were sent to search out the little town of Ai.
3 Upon their return they told Joshua, "It’s a small city and it won’t take more than two or three thousand of us to destroy it; there’s no point in all of us going there."
4 So approximately three thousand soldiers were sent - and they were soundly defeated. 5 About thirty-six of the Israelis were killed during the attack, and many others died while being chased by the men of Ai as far as the quarries. The Israeli army was paralyzed with fear at this turn of events. 6 Joshua and the elders of Israel tore their clothing and lay prostrate before the Ark of the Lord until evening, with dust on their heads.
7 Joshua cried out to the Lord, "O Jehovah, why have you brought us over the Jordan River if you are going to let the Amorites kill us? Why weren’t we content with what we had? Why didn’t we stay on the other side? 8 O Lord, what am I to do now that Israel has fled from her enemies! 9 For when the Canaanites and the other nearby nations hear about it, they will surround us and attack us and wipe us out. And then what will happen to the honor of your great name?"