I wonder sometimes if we aren’t swallowing camels and straining out nats.
Jesus accused the religious leaders of his day of doing just that by referring to the practice of straining wine, and other drinks through linen, or another filtration median in order to strain out small insects that might make them unclean by swallowing on accident. They would tithe the smallest amount but neglect the most important, and just like them we sometimes neglect the more important things like justice, mercy, and faithfulness. Oh sure we’ll tithe, attend, and sing with gusto, but then forget to show kindness to the store employee, waitress, or gas station attendant afterwards.
My full time job requires me to work half of the Sundays in a month, and I have discovered something about my brothers and sisters in Christ. They are extremely rude and condescending to people who work on Sundays. For example One Sunday afternoon a fellow coworker received a cussing from a person whom he knew was a deacon in a local church, then was given a gospel tract by that same man a few days later. (Gulp, Gulp, Gag! I wonder how many calories were in the camel that the dude had just swallowed!)
Here is what I’m driving at. You can tithe, sing, and pray all you want while in church, but if you don’t truly care about the more important things like justice, mercy, and faithfulness, your slamming the door of heaven in the face of the unsaved.
Your swallowing camels.
So quit choking them down, because camels don’t taste good, and aren’t heart healthy. I know this because just like you, I’ve choked down a few myself. So may God in His grace help us to realize that we’ve got a camel in our glass.
Matt 23:13 “But woe to you, experts in the law and you Pharisees, hypocrites! You keep locking people out of the kingdom of heaven!
Matt 23:23 “Woe to you, experts in the law and you Pharisees, hypocrites! You give a tenth of mint, dill, and cumin, yet you neglect what is more important in the law—justice, mercy, and faithfulness! You should have done these things without neglecting the others. 24 Blind guides! You strain out a gnat yet swallow a camel!
Biblical Studies Press. (2006). The NET Bible First Edition; Bible. English. NET Bible.; The NET Bible (Mt 23:13). Biblical Studies Press.
Biblical Studies Press. (2006). The NET Bible First Edition; Bible. English. NET Bible.; The NET Bible (Mt 23:23–24). Biblical Studies Press.