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  • Writer's pictureAlan Fong

A Subtle Poison

Today's Verse:

And they said, What one is there of the tribes of Israel that came not up to Mizpeh to the LORD? And, behold, there came none to the camp from Jabeshgilead to the assembly. For the people were numbered, and, behold, there were none of the inhabitants of Jabeshgilead there. ~Judges 21:8-9


Many chemicals and medicines are carefully labeled to warn the users or non-users of poisoning. Poisoning is when someone has ingested something that becomes harmful to their health and well-being. Poison is a toxin that is to be avoided at all cost. If not remedied quickly, poisoning can be very fatal. This morning, we are considering a poison that is very subtle yet deadly. The poison that I am referring to is the poison of passivity or the problem of being passive.


There is the characteristic of passivity.

Passivity is when a person lacks emotional desire for something or someone. It is being non-committal to a position, responsibility, or a principle. It is like being apathetic or indifferent. Passivity is a complete lack of concern about a plight or a decline. People who are passive are noticeably quiet and unremoved. People who are passive respond to a need by saying, “Let someone else do it.” Any involvement from a person who is passive is typically half-hearted and lacking in viable results.


There is the curse in passivity.

The tribes of Israel committed to help provide wives for the tribe of Benjamin. All of the tribes participated except for the men of Jabeshgilead. They heard the request for help, but they were noticeably absent on the day when help was needed. Passivity results in non-productivity. It places a strain on those who are committed to a task. Passivity leads to a lack of volunteers when help is needed. Passivity results in souls going to Hell. Passivity results in empty altar calls. Passivity leads to a decline in church attendance and involvement. Passivity kills the spirit of a church. Passivity quenches the fires of evangelism and missions. Passivity takes the romance out of marriage and results in empty emotions. Passivity lowers the morale of a military and threatens the security of a country.


There is the contamination in passivity.

We are told that all of the men of Jabeshgilead failed to appear and participate. Passivity spreads quickly and is contaminating. A passive preacher results in a passive congregation. A passive leader results in passive followers. Passive parents result in children who are unmotivated and unmoved about their lives. Non-involvement is contaminating. Non-commitment is contaminating. Passivity is a poison that is dangerous to all organizations, to all movements, and to biblical responsibility.


There is the condemnation in passivity.

All of Israel censured and condemned the men of Jabeshgilead for their lack of commitment. Jesus said about the church at Laodicea that He would spew them out of His mouth. He told them that He would rebuke and chasten them for their passivity and indifference. Passivity makes God sick.


There is the correction to passivity.

Years later, the men of Jabeshgilead were called valiant for their risky escapade in crossing the lines of the Philistines and bringing back the mutilated bodies of Saul and his slain sons for a proper burial. What is the remedy for passivity? First, confess it as a sin. Second, get involved. Third, avoid being non-committal, and involve yourself in every opportunity that God places your way. Last, obey God in every command and precept.


We live in a passive age where men wish to take the path of least resistance. Don’t let the spirit of this age make you indifferent to the needs around us. Be careful of the subtle poison.


Have a passionate God Morning!

Bible Reading Schedule: Job 21-23

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