If plants, trees, animals, and the earth itself, could warn humans of danger, what would they say? Well, as it turns out, plants are talking…and you really want to hear what they are saying!
In a journal article in Nature Materials, MIT researchers explained how they have helped turn spinach plants into “bomb sniffing machines.” The plants were embedded with tiny carbon tubes to help them detect “nitroaromatics” (chemical compounds used in explosives). Once the plant detects the compound in the air, it emits a fluorescent signal that is picked up by an infrared camera and wirelessly notifies a smartphone.
You see, plants have impressive skills when monitoring the chemistry of their environment. And they often react quickly – so quickly that they are able to “speak” in real-time. It will be years before bomb-sniffing dogs are out of a job; nevertheless, it is nice to know that scientists are listening to the plants.
As it turns out, Job suggested listening to the earth a long time ago. “But now ask the beasts, and let them teach you; and the birds of the heavens, and let them tell you. Or speak to the earth, and let it teach you; and let the fish of the sea declare to you” (Job 12:7-8). And what would they say? “Who among all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this…” (9).
If plants can warn us about bombs, I wonder what else they could declare? What if the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil could have warned Adam & Eve? If we could hear the groaning of the earth, stained by Abel’s blood, would there be fewer murders?
Job says that the world is screaming, “God made us!” And if it could, the earth would warn us to follow God’s way. Will you hear today?
“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will grant to eat of the tree of life which is in the Paradise of God” (Revelation 2:7).
Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you. 1 Timothy 4:16
Suicide attacks are no laughing matter. And the loss of life is never humorous. But Iraqi citizens are sleeping a little better and enjoying a bit of irony because of an accident at a suicide bomber training camp in Northern Baghdad last week.
As reported by the New York Times, the accident happened at a terrorist training camp associated with an Al Qaeda splinter group known as “Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.” Apparently, a bomb exploded when an instructor was demonstrating how to make and use belt explosives to would be suicide bombers. The instructor and all 21 students died in the accident.
Now, it would be easy to laugh at their misfortune, as in, “Pay attention, I’m only going to do this once!” But based on the daily bombings that take place in that part of the world, this is merely a short-lived respite for the residents of Iraq. Sadly, there will be many more suicide bombers and more deaths.
But it is a good reminder to all of us that what we teach and how we teach are extremely important! Teachers have a special responsibility. They are charged with the task of carefully imparting knowledge to their students. And each of us will be judged by what we taught in this life.
The Apostle Paul knew this fact very well. He stressed to Timothy in 1 Timothy 4:16, that we ought to handle the gospel with great care. If perverted into “another gospel,” false teaching can be more damaging to a soul than a terrorist’s bomb. That is why we take great care with God’s Word.
The differences, though, are obvious. Terrorists and suicide bombers bring death, but the gospel brings life. Terrorists work with explosives that kill, but the Christian works with God’s grace that brings mercy. Hear the good news of Christ and teach it carefully to others…their lives, and your own, depend on it!
Terrorism, in any form, is one of the lowest, most cowardly things that one human being can do to another. The ultimate purpose of terrorists is to inflict fear. One of the best ways to inflict terror is to take something that seems happy, safe, and predictable and turn it into something painful and chaotic. This is exactly what the recent bombers of the Boston Marathon hoped to accomplish.
In Galatians 5:7-10, the apostle Paul deals with terrorists who were interrupting a different kind of race. When he sees runners in the Christian marathon stumbling, he asks, “You were running well; who hindered you from obeying the truth?” He then warns terrorists that the judgment will be harsh for those who interrupt, bomb, and terrorize those who are running for God. Paul says, “The one who is disturbing you will bear his judgment, whoever he is.”
While the Boston terrorists were successful in causing harm, it remains to be seen what our reaction will be. If the past is any indication, Americans are very resilient. Marathons will continue, and many will come to cheer runners in the future. For most of us, life will go on as before with the exception that a little more innocence has been stolen from us.
My heart and prayers go out to the families of the victims, the participants in the Marathon, and the citizens of Boston for the recent terrorist action. At times such as this, we are comforted in the knowledge that neither bomb, nor terrorist, “nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:39).
No matter what happens along the way, no matter what our enemies try to do to stop us, we must “press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14). For those who remain faithful despite all challenges, there is a “crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him” (James 1:12).
Posted in Devotional
Tagged apostle, bomb, bombing, boston, coward, Jesus, marathon, paul, race, run, terror, terrorism