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 Vol. 5, No. 12 

December 2003

Youth Page

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Break Their Teeth

By Mark McWhorter

Image Have you ever had the chance to see a snake charmer? More than likely if you did see one, you saw it on television. The snake charmer is a person who is able to do some amazing things with poisonous snakes. One of the most famous tricks is when the charmer plays a musical instrument and the snake slowly comes up out of his container. If the snake is a cobra, he will spread wide the skin on the sides of his head.

Sometimes the charmer will slowly lean forward and actually kiss the snake on the lips. Sometimes he will hold the snake around his head. In ancient times, one of their tricks was to press on the side of the snake's head and make the snake become stiff like a rod.

One of ways that the snake charmer trained the new snake was to break off the teeth of the snake. This way, if the snake decided to strike and try to bite the charmer, no harm could be done.  The teeth would grow back but it gave the charmer time to train the snake. Sometimes the charmer would also have to break the teeth of a trained snake that quit doing his tricks.

In Psalm 58, David asks God to break the teeth of the wicked. David says that these wicked men are just like the poisonous snakes that refuse to listen to the charmer. David wants God to take their bite away from them. David realizes that doing such would probably only relieve their wicked bite for a short while, but that the teeth would grow back. David goes on to say that he hopes the wicked will disappear completely. David fully expected God to take vengeance toward the evildoers.

I am glad that we have a God who can be approached with our problems. And it is comforting to know that God will eventually show that there is a wonderful reward for righteousness and a terrible reward for wickedness.

Do not be a person that will have his teeth broken by God. Be a person with whom God will be pleased.Image

Idol Powder

By Mark McWhorter

In Exodus Chapter Thirty-Two, we are told about the Israelites turning from God. Moses has been on Mount Sinai speaking with God for a long period of time. The Israelites begin to think he is not coming down. So, they go to Aaron and ask him to make them some gods to worship.

Aaron takes gold earrings from the Israelites and makes a golden calf. The Israelites cry out that this is the god that brought them out of Egypt. The next morning, they have a great celebration and offer sacrifices to the golden calf.

God tells Moses that the Israelites have done a terrible thing. He sends Moses back down the mountain. When Moses sees what the Israelites are doing, he gets very angry. He throws the tables of stone containing the 10 Commandments down and breaks them.

Moses takes the golden calf and burns it. He then grinds it down into a fine powder and throws this powder on the water coming from the Rock (Deuteronomy 9:21). This action may have been a special symbol of condemnation to the Israelites and the Egyptian gods that they were worshipping. It was a practice in Egypt to throw statues of gods into the Nile River at certain times of the year. This was so that the gods would give them good harvests, good health and prosperity.

Moses was demonstrating that these false gods were nothing. In fact, he makes the Israelites drink the water with gold in it. Some commentators believe this made those who had worshipped the false gods sick (Exodus 32:35). This may have been a way for everyone to see exactly who were the idolaters.

God was very displeased with the Israelites and their worship of false gods. He wants obedience from those he has created. He wants obedience from you.

Read your Bible. Study your Bible. Make sure you know what to do to obey God. And if any of this is hard to understand, ask an adult to help you.Image

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