///// An IronMen Moment /////
(Designed to be passed along to men and young men in your life.)
The Swiss Army Knife.
Have you ever owned one of these knives? Or, wished you had? I remember when there weren't many around. Now, you can buy the smallest one in a Target, they're so easy to find.
The small ones will cost you about $15. The medium-sized ones will put you back $67. And their XXL size, with 73 functions, will cost you $412!
Back in 1891 the Swiss government awarded two companies with the construction of a multi-use knife for the army. Paul Boechat & Cie (known as the Wegner company) received half, while Karl Elsener company (later known as Victorinox) was given the other. Both companies produced them faithfully ever since, without interruption. In 2005, Wegner joined Victorinox to become one company. Still producing these wonderful, useful knives.
This past Sunday, a local pastor taught out of just two sentences in Amos 8. It was prophetic, applying (at the very least) to this very time in history. He wasn't talking about Swiss Army knives, but when he got to the text, it specifically described...
Not scarcity of food. Nor of rain. But of something else even more significant.
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11“The days are coming,” declares the Sovereign LORD, “when I will send a famine through the land— not a famine of food or a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the words of the LORD.
12People will stagger from sea to sea and wander from north to east, searching for the word of the LORD, but they will not find it.
-- God, in Amos 8, niv
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This pastor saw a growing scarcity of God's Word in this nation, even within the church. The rate of Biblical illiteracy has risen to a surprising level -- in the church. American culture is now a pagan one, quickly divorcing itself from any connection to God. This began aggressively back in the 1960s, especially.
And what does this have to do with utility tools and the Victorinox company? Funny you should ask. But first, let me tell you another story.
I grew up in parts of Northern California where we had towns with certain street corners that had a church *on each of the four corners.* Imagine standing on the lawn of one church, and looking across both streets and the intersection, and seeing church buildings there.
It was almost comical -- well, I'll just say it -- it WAS comical. What a testimony to the divisions in the body of Christ. Since then, people have treated it like flavors of ice cream. The advice would be: Go find your favorite "flavor" of Christianity, and park yourself there.
By contrast, in today's era, the data from research agencies like Barna, Lifeways, and Pew Research tell us that for every new church door opening, there are two or more church doors CLOSING. Permanently. That means a great rate of disappearing churches. It makes you wonder what that leads to.
As it turns out, there is a growing *scarcity* of churches. Churches where God's sacred, infallible Word is read, taught, embraced, and exalted.
Those same research agencies tell us that churches teaching Biblical prophecy is increasingly a rarity: some 98% on any given Sunday service will say nothing about the role of fulfilled prophecy... in ANY time in history, much less OUR time (see the documentary Beyond the Wrath, if you get a chance).
The irony is that even critical secularists who once derided Bible prophecy scholars for actually believing what Scripture says about the times, are NOW asking the question publicly: Could these events we are witnessing indicate the later days?
Churches are becoming scarce. Churches that teach the whole Bible are becoming scarce. Churches willing to teach prophecy are growing scarce. Just like Swiss Army knives were for a time.
In fact, the parallel doesn't stop there. The Bible itself -- an extra-dimensional coding system given to us by an eternal God that contains it's own internal proofs (as Chuck Missler used to describe it) -- is like a huge multi-tool. Good for life's many needs. Able to help you tackle hundreds of situations.
Think of it...
+ Need a compass? --> you can find true North principles to guide you: Psalm 33:4, 119:142.
+ Need a ruler? --> you can find Scripture as a source of fair and just judgments, a tool for measuring things accurately: Psalm 111:7.
+ Need a knife? --> the Word can bring conviction, a kind of cutting action within our consciences: I Thess.1:5, II Timothy 3:16.
+ Need scissors? --> the Word can have a rebuking effect: Rev. 3:19, Titus 1:13.
+ Need a flash light? --> Scripture provides light for our path: Proverbs 6:23.
+ Need a file? --> the Bible is able to shape and train us: II Timothy 3:16, Ephesians 6:4.
+ Need a magnifying glass? --> Scripture provides the ability to see and discern: Hosea 14:9, Proverbs 8:9, 28:11.
Even the term Swiss Army Knife has become so classic, so universally recognized for its utility, that it is also a *figure of speech.* The figure refers to: "extreme utility applicable to more or less any scenario at hand"
The Bible is that way, too. The Swiss Army knife has been so since 1891. Scripture has been so since before 1891 BC.
Keep it near. Don't let it become scarce in your life. Even if it becomes scarce throughout the land.
Brought to you by IronMen.