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 Vol. 8, No. 7 

July 2006

Youth Page

~ Page 6 ~

Counsel of Stocks and Staff

By Mark McWhorter

God says in Hosea 4:12 that the people of Israel have asked counsel of their stocks and staffs. They were doing this instead of looking to him for answers to their problems.

The pagan people had mythical customs which the Israelites were mimicking. Sometimes they would take two sticks and drop them. Then a 'wise' person would look at how the sticks landed and make an interpretation. This 'reading of the sticks' was supposed to give answers to a question asked. Another custom was to have two sticks in a container. One stick would have a 'yes' answer engraved on it. The other stick would have a 'no' answer engraved on it. A person would reach in and pull a stick out. Whichever one came out was the answer to the question. Another custom was to take a stick and shave all the bark off one side. This stick would then be dropped. Whichever side was facing up gave the answer. If it was the shaved side, it was a 'yes.' If it was the side with bark, it was a 'no.'

There are people today who do such silly things. They will look at crystals for answers. Some will look at leaves in a bowl. Some will look at cards being turned over. Some will look at skin creases in their palms. Some will look at the stars. Some will simply look to a fortuneteller.

God says we are to look to his Word for the answers to our problems. It contains the answers to make us the persons God wants us to be (2 Timothy 3:16-17). And God wants us to pray to him. He is always ready and willing to help us and give us comfort.

Do not be like the sinning Israelites. Do not look to the things that will give vain help. Look to God and his Word. Get advice from godly individuals who are following God. And if any of this is hard to understand, ask an adult to help you.

Draw Water

By Mark McWhorter

In many places in the world people get their water from wells. A well is usually a deep hole dug in the earth. At the bottom of the well is water. This water comes from underground streams.

Normally, a bucket is tied to a rope. Then the bucket is let down into the well. When the bucket is full of water, it is pulled up by the rope. This may need to be repeated several times until the desired amount of water is obtained.

Wells are very important in places with hot temperatures. Wells are extremely important in deserts. People who are traveling in the desert get very thirsty. Water is highly treasured by such people.

In Isaiah 12:3, we read, "Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation." In the previous verse we read that Jehovah is our salvation. God is pictured as the deep well of salvation. We are traveling in the spiritual desert of life. As we travel through this life, we need spiritual water. Without that water we will die. God has plenty of cool water. He will always give us the water that we need.

Just as people have to let down their buckets and then pull them back up to drink real water, we have to dip our buckets into the well of salvation. God is ready to give us the water, but we have to do our part before we can drink it. The water will save us. If we do not drink it, we will die eternally.

Study God's Word. Read it all the time. Then obey what you read. Do not go through life spiritually thirsty. Drink from the eternal well of salvation. And if any of this is hard to understand, ask an adult to help you.Image

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