Over many years of listening to various and sundry pulpiteers, it seems odd that some parts of scripture have never been so much as touched upon let alone used to make a main point in sermon fodder. Some scriptures are so oft used, even week after week in messages, wearing them out pressing at some significant point, that they hardly require effort at memorization. Any regular church attending Christian knows the kind. John 8:32, Matthew 6:33 or Philippians 4:13 and a myriad of others require so little exegetic effort from the pew warming faithful as verses such as these are far more worn out in church sermons than grandma’s bible.
I’ve considered the reasoning behind all this to be a curious thing. Perhaps it’s simply convenient to avoid these knotty verses and stick with the same passages Pastor Whozits preached in his holy week sermon 10 years ago for homily formulation because, after all, it served him well and who would know better than Pastor Whozits. Or maybe Professor Beelzebub at the College of Theologicals for Garden Knowledge in Good and Evil never used them in his Homiletics 201 class. Nevertheless, whatever the reasoning it’s indisputable there’s a plethora of completely avoided and unrequited bible verses just waiting to be drawn upon for wisdom and understanding.
Of course, kind reader, you know where I’m going with this. My preference is to charge headlong into areas professional preachers wouldn’t tread. So I’ve considered the possibility of starting a series of entries titled as above, Pulpitless Persuasions, concerning those very left behind (Christianese pun intended) passages of scripture. Pulpitless, because this blog will have to do as the closest thing to one I’ll have and, as one can see from Amazon here, pulpits are pretty dadgum expensive. Besides, pulpits are difficult to carry to a street corner. (Caveat Lector: Contrary to my popular homiletical counterparts who have an apparent vested interest in their faithfulness to the scriptures combined with years of theological education signifying how well they can turn a verse, I make no pretensions that anything I write in these lines will be in anyway directly authoritative or accurate biblically. I’ve not had the great disadvantage of having any sanction by some prodigiously impressive college of spiritual knowledge.) And persuasions, because I like alliteration and in the end these are all just my opinions. I read what I read as I read it in the scriptures and ultimately it’s just my opinion, with a little help from my friends like Matthew Henry, et al. Endeavouring, as I will, to stay respectful to the holy text, I’ll essentially render it without the stuff of highbrow spirituality.
And so, for today, I thought I’d take a look at a most overlooked and unfamiliar passage from that seldom mentioned book of Deuteronomy:
Deuteronomy 23:12-14 (AMP) – You shall have a place also outside the camp to which you shall go [as a comfort station]; And you shall have a paddle or shovel among your weapons, and when you sit down outside [to relieve yourself], you shall dig a hole with it and turn back and cover up what has come from you. For the Lord your God walks in the midst of your camp to deliver you and to give up your enemies before you. Therefore shall your camp be holy, that He may see nothing indecent among you and turn away from you. (Bold emphasis mine)
Here we read an interesting passage which no doubt bears reminding ourselves. Actually, perhaps this should be, as Exodus 13:9 states for a different set of conditions, put on our hands. It’s been said that if God meant us to fly He would’ve given us wings. In similar fashion if God meant us to wipe ourselves He would’ve made us equipped with toilet paper. Unfortunately, or fortunately depending upon how we reflect upon the case, we all know that not to be so. However, as it once was, in our efforts to follow genuine biblical Christianity, He required of us to carry a shovel of some kind. Now, in the dispensation of the times, we find the holes having already been dug and calling them toilets. Praise God from whom all blessings flow (pun intended).
To get right to the point I perceive in this scripture, God ain’t interested in our crap. He doesn’t have to put up with it. Some of us are full of it which makes coming near God impossible. There are those with a little crap, but God ain’t interested in being with those who have the least bit of it. There’s just no way around it. Dump your crap. All of it.
Not only that but if He does encounter our crap He’ll turn away. Imagine posting these verses in church lavatories as parishioners contemplate performing their biblical duties. It makes the urgency of restroom visits all the more significant. Here it is so clear one thing that turns God off to mankind. Maybe it’s because of the smell. Crap stinks, or to put it biblically, crap stinketh. One doesn’t have to be a bible scholar to understand that, and make no mistake, God does smell stuff. He smells Grandma Nellie’s boiled cabbage and it’s a stench in His nostrils. Just imagine what He thinks about smelling your crap and mine. I’m not letting it happen. Don’t you either.
Just remember, make sure you flush after you’ve dropped a load and meditate thereupon. And don’t forget to close the lid.
I don’t attend the restroom often, but when I do I bring my bible with me. Stay thirsty, my friend.