Tonight is the first of several articles penned by my dear friend, Joe Widick. Joe taught with me at Friendship Christian School in Lebanon, Tennessee and later became the high school administrator. I was blessed to teach his three children and even teach with one, Lane, here at WCS. Joe is married to the lovely Elaine and serves full time as an elder and minister with the Maple Hill Church of Christ.
I recently read an excerpt from the book “The Blunder Book” by M. Hirsh Goldberg. As I read the piece, I was amazed at how a company could make such a huge mistake and seemingly get by with it. The story told of a construction company that won the bid to construct the hundred miles of track for the Washington, DC, subway project. The cost was to be 793 million dollars. When the work was completed the final cost had mushroomed to a little over 6 billion dollars. It was reported that during this construction period that the company won a contract to build the Saudi Arabian city of Jubail. The estimate for the contract was nine billion dollars. When the project was finished the final bill was forty-five billion dollars. If my math is correct that is an overrun of thirty-six billion dollars. I wonder if there were not some people who had to answer for this huge discrepancy. One can only imagine the reasons given for the much enlarged price tag.
Unexpected construction expenses are one thing, however, they are of little consequence compared with the unexpected cost of our sins against God. Sometimes I think we just do not take sin seriously enough. Do you ever get the feeling that we either want to sweep our sins under the rug saying they are not that bad. Or we reason that everyone else is doing this it must be OK.
The life of King Saul shows us the enormous price of disobedience. He never figured that his continued willfulness and stubborn pride would eventually cost him his honor, his family, his friends, his influence for good and his fellowship with God. He lost it all! He failed to see it coming when he decided to keep a few bleating sheep for his own use and pleasure. Then he decided it would be OK to spare the life of a wicked monarch (I Samuel 15:14-15, 20-21). In the eyes of God these sins were costly acts of disobedience. It was a situation where one thing led to another and another. I wonder how often we start a downward spiral of sin by something that seems to be so harmless, yet is a direct contradiction of God’s will. Maybe in Saul’s eyes it was not a bad thing to spare the lives of some sheep. Maybe his reasoning was that they would be appropriate for sacrifice. Maybe his reasoning was that we did a really good job in following God’s commands, this will not hurt anything. Do you remember the words of God to Samuel about this situation? God said; “I am grieved that I have made Saul king, because he has turned away from me and has not carried out my instructions” I Samuel 15:11).
In Saudi Arabia one cost led to another and before long the cost was such that one wondered how it got out of control. In Saul’s case, sin took the first step and it grew and grew until Saul lost everything.
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