Thursday, August 31, 2006



An old story I heard when a very young minister keeps surfacing in my mind... usually a sign that someone to whom I minister is needing encouragement along certain lines.

The story is about the system of the Temple Guards, who were on duty night and day by the time David turned the Kingdom over to Solomon.

Either by decree, or by a custom that developed gradually, any guard who was caught asleep during his watch could be stripped of his clothing by the person who found him sleeping on the job. We hope there were barrels close at hand, which the sleeping guard could use while walking home.

It would appear, from the fact that the Spirit seemed to mention the custom or decree in the writings of John the revelator, that the Lord was not opposed to such a practice.

We read in Revelation 16:15 Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed [is] he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame. It would appear that this refers to a sleeping Temple guard.

To be naked in public is very shameful, and is to be avoided vigorously. Oddly enough, however, it was once a part of a religious rite. We read in Exodus 32:25 And when Moses saw that the people [were] naked; (for Aaron had made them naked unto [their] shame among their enemies:) The setting was at the time of the making of the golden calf while Moses was on Mt. Sinai receiving the Law.

Another scripture which has a bearing upon the subject is Proverbs 29:18 Where [there is] no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy [is] he. The word which is translated "perish" is more correctly translated in other languages "cast off restraint." The key thought is that people are prone to "live carelessly" as they lose the vision of holiness and purity before God.

Though a people may be completely covered by clothing, they can be naked in spirit by the lifestyle they have adopted... that of failing to esteem the holiness and purity of a Godly life. Other interests have been allowed to crowd righteousness and integrity into the back ground.

We read in Revelation 3:17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:

We find the recommended remedy for the condition in Revelation 3:18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and [that] the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.

I Thessalonians 5:6 Therefore let us not sleep, as [do] others; but let us watch and be sober.

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