Treacherous Israelites


“I watched them tearing a building down

A gang of men in a busy town.

With a ho-heave-ho and a lusty yell,

They swung a beam and a side wall fell.

I asked the foreman, ‘Are these men skilled?

And men you’d hire if you had to build?’

He gave a laugh and said, ‘No indeed!

Just common labor is all I need.

I can easily wreck in a day or two

What builders have taken a year to do.’

And I thought to myself as I went my way,

Which of these roles have I tried to play?

Am I a builder who works with care,

Measuring life by the rule and square?

Am I shaping my deeds to a well-made plan,

Patiently doing the best I can?

Or am I a wrecker, who walks the town,

Content with the labor of tearing down?” 1

   James 3:16, “Where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil work.”

“Corruptions within the church weaken the hands and dampen the spirits of her guides and helpers, more than opposition from without; treacherous Israelites are to be dreaded more than malicious Canaanites” (Matthew Henry). 2


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  1. Edgar Guest –
  2. Arthur W. Pink, Gleanings in Joshua, Moody Press, Chicago, Copyright 1964, by The Moody Bible Institute of Chicago, p. 209