And don’t spit into the wind. Most of us older types are familiar with these two maxims as well as some others that are similar in nature. They are suggestive of a lot of things and are offered without caveat. If they did have a caveat they would lose their meaning. For instance, “Don’t tug on Superman’s cape unless you’re Lois Lane.”
Most maxims are the result of trial and then error. I’m not sure who tugged on Superman’s cape but obviously, the result was not good. A lot of us have at least tested the spitting in the wind maxim just to see. We discovered it was good advice. Maxims are a result of lots of trial and error in preceding history. That’s why history is important. George Santayana is famous for stating, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” (The Life of Reason, Vol. 1)
Here’s a little history that bears repeating simply because people have a hard time remembering it and continually try to repeat it. I’m not necessarily talking about you, but it could be someone you know. In that case, share the blog.
Ex 17:2 So Moses said to them, “Why do you contend with me? Why do you tempt the Lord?” That’s the NKJ version. More modern ones say test instead of temp. Probably because elsewhere we read that the Lord cannot be tempted neither does he tempt. But, let’s get to the problem here. Why is Moses telling them this? Because they failed to trust God and demanded water.
If they remembered the past that would have been the end but if you keep reading Exodus you soon find them complaining and contending and testing again and again. They just didn’t learn. Finally, God had to speak through Moses again. Deut 6:16-17
“You shall not tempt the Lord your God as you tempted Him in Massah.” What? Yes, they did it again. They kept on doing it and then they acted all hurt when God gave them over to the Babylonians.
Tugging on Superman’s cape? Spitting in the wind? No, you say, I’ve got more sense than that. Then why do we keep on testing God with our doubts? Why are we so ungrateful for all he has done for us and all he has given to us that we continually want more and more and more. Why, if we can refrain from spitting in the wind, do we put God to the test with our worldly idols? Why do we test him by putting other things and ourselves ahead of him?
We need to reread the Old Testament for some good maxims. Don’t tug on the cape, spit into the wind or put God to the test.