There’s a Hebrew word in the Old Testament that speaks volumes to the condition many find themselves in today. For most of them the answer is elusive and fraught with frustration. The answer they find is almost always a short term solution at best. Yet there are others who have the long term solution but fail to realize it, or if they do they don’t use it.
Corrosion tends to be a long term process. Sometimes we can temporarily halt it’s progress with short term action that deals with the symptoms, but in the long run it just keeps progressing until we get to the root cause. Take rust for instance. It will continue on unabated unless all of it is removed and preventative measures are taken to prevent its coming back. If not, it just continues to eat away at everything around it. Unless it’s aluminum, which has an incredible ability to resist rust and is 100% recyclable without any loss of it’s natural qualities.
So how does aluminum fit into the Old Testament? Well, it doesn’t actually, but it paints a perfect picture for the antidote to a corroding process we all have to deal with… charah (khaw-raw). It seems like every day, in some way or another we have to deal with the corrosive issue of fretting. And yet the Word tells us that we are not to let it get started in the first place.
Ps 37:1 Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.
Ps 37:7 Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.
Ps 37:8 Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.
Charah means to be angry, to burn, to be displeased, to grieve, or to be incensed. In one form or another it is a very important term that is used some 90 times in the Old Testament. And in these three verses what’s interesting is where “fretting” comes from… thyself! We are the ones that allow the corrosive process of fretting to get started and we are the ones that continue to feed that process. Wouldn’t it be nice if, like aluminum, we were resistant to fretting?
It’s interesting that while aluminum is the most abundant metal in the earth’s crust, it is “never” found free in nature. It was only after man discovered how to extract it from other compounds that it became available. Well, the same process applies to us in the area of fretting. God never asks us to do something that we are unable to do because He has already given us all that we need to accomplish the task. When He tells us fret not thyself He gives us a command that we are fully capable of carrying out. As Jesus’ bride we have all that we need to resist the corrosive process of fretting with the abundant element that makes us like aluminum… The Holy Spirit! He is the reason we can Rest in the Lord and fret not. He is the antidote that we carry, but if we don’t avail ourselves of His power the slow, corrosive process of fretting will continue to eat away at us and slowly erode our faith.
This is a fact that we need to stand up and face… we control the corrosive process of fretting! Will we stand still and allow fretting to eat away at our faith or will we apply the power of the Holy Spirit to resist the destructive process? Fretting, like corrosion, will weaken, wear away, and eventually destroy all that it touches. For that reason the Lord has commanded us to take hold of the antidote that He has given us and stop the process before it can get started. Just like all that white corrosion that appears on our car’s battery terminals, the answer is to treat the condition with a solution of baking soda and water and continue preventive maintenance by applying grease to the terminals.
Perhaps it’s a poor example but the Holy Spirit is both our “baking soda” and our “grease.” But if we don’t call on Him we will be just like that battery… at some point in the process of fretting we’ll stop functioning. We need to constantly remind ourselves each and every day that there is an enemy out there that wants to corrode our relationship with our bridegroom. He throws every imaginable corrosive element at us to try and wear us down to the point that we stop functioning; stop being an effective part of God’s plan for the redemption of this world. The question before us is, do we know that? If we do, are we sharing that knowledge with others?
It’s true that “knowledge is power” because knowledge is something that cannot be taken from you. Once we understand and tap into the power of the Holy Spirit to defeat our fretting that power is ours forever. And that knowledge can never be taken away from us. On the other hand, there is nothing to prevent us from giving it away except our commitment to keep it. So when fretting shows up… stop the process and keep it at bay by the power of the Holy Spirit. Which battery are you… it’s your choice!