The Gileadites captured the fords of the Jordan leading to Ephraim, and whenever a survivor of Ephraim said, “Let me cross over,” the men of Gilead asked him, “Are you an Ephraimite?” If he replied, “No,” they said, “All right, say, ‘Shibboleth’ ” If he said, “Sibboleth,”because he could not pronounce the word correctly, they seized him and killed him at the fords of the Jordan. Forty-two thousand Ephraimites were killed at that time.
Judges 12: 5 & 6 NIV
I was stupefied by the simplicity of how the outcome of an Ephraimite life was determined. Would he escape the sword or perish? It was all based on the word “Shibboleth”. If he did not know how to pronounce the word, then his true identity would be revealed and he would die.
Several years ago we experienced an incredible downpour of rain. It was a 200 year record. In a rural B.C. community, three young men were traveling a road they were very familiar with. All probably seemed well and secure for them and I imagine they chatted happily to one another as they drove. Two didn’t make it home that night or ever will make it back to their earthly abode. A bridge they assumed would be there had been washed out, and their vehicle went over the embankment and into the water.
How dreadfully tragic for them and their families.
The fate of these young fellows and the Ephraimite have one thing in common. It was the lack of knowledge that caused their demise. The Ephraimite couldn’t pronounce a particular word and the young men were not aware that the bridge had been washed out.
At the spot where the bridge had been, another man drove up in his truck. He was unfamiliar with the road and therefore was probably driving very slowly. He was able to spot the dead end. He stopped, put on his flashing emergency lights, and saved several other travelers from catastrophe.
We are all pilgrims on this earth whether we leave the front porch or not. One day each of us will pass from this life to the next. Is there a bridge for us to cross when we’ve reached the end of life’s highway?
Will we make it safely to the other side?
The Bible says that Jesus is the only Bridge that spans the gulf between our sinful selves and the Holy Father God. It matters not how carefully we’ve traversed the winding roads if we have traveled in utter darkness without Christ. There will be no Bridge unless we’ve trusted in Him.
Meantime, I pray for God’s grace and power to flash my own warning lights as God deems appropriate. May His light shine through my life to warn others of the impending chasm in the road.
I am the gate;
whoever enters through me will be saved.
John 10:9a NIV
Jesus answered him,
” I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.”
Luke 23:43 NIV
Bridge Blessings ~ Wendy ❀