by David Sisler

The day had started a long time before dawn. At first there was only silence on the other end of the line and then a voice said, "I'm sorry, sir. But you did leave a three o'clock wake up call." Then there was silence, a click, and a dial tone.

Two flat tires, two inflated repair bills, two missed appointments, and eighteen hours later I pulled off the interstate highway into a town I was sure was printed on no known road map. The one horse in the little town had long since been banished to the glue factory and the only lodgings looked like something out of an old detective story, circa 1940.

The hotel had once probably been first class. It had never been elegant. Peeling wall paper, fading and torn upholstery, and mismatched furniture added nothing to the ambiance.

After I unpacked I went in search of a meal. There were two places in town that provided food. The hotel was not one of them. There was a gas station which doubled as a grocery store, and there was a bar. I opted for the grocery store.

A sign in the window of the store read, "Hot dogs, 2 for $1.00." I've never been terribly fond of hot dogs which are red on the outside and green on the inside, but that night I was too tired to care.

I bought two hot dogs (chili sauce was fifteen cents extra), a pack of potato chips, two Reese's cups, and two bottles of Mello Yello, and headed back to the hotel.

I seated myself in the least broken chair and with pleasure that only comes from near starvation almost inhaled my meal. I had just opened my second Mello Yello, when a car pulled up.

As the driver, a young man in his early twenties, crossed the street, a woman came out of the bar. She approached him, saucy and pert. She was the brash, coarse type, seen often in the streets, soliciting at every corner for men to be her lovers. She put her arms around him and kissed him, and with a saucy look she said, "I've decided to forget our quarrel! I was just coming to look for you and here you are! My husband is away on a long trip. He has taken a wallet full of money with him, and won't return for several days."

So she seduced him with her pretty speech, her coaxing and her wheedling, until he yielded to her. Standing at the window I saw all of this happen. I looked. I saw. I noticed.

What you read at the beginning of this column never happened. It was all a set up for the three just previous to this one. Other wise, you wouldn't believe it.

Those three paragraphs describe one of the most tragic occurrences recorded in the Bible. They are taken from the Old Testament book of Proverbs, chapter seven, The Living Bible, almost word for word.

The writer observes a young man who was "picked up" by a prostitute. He knows that she will destroy the young man. He describes him as being "like an ox going to the slaughter, like a deer stepping into a noose till an arrow pierces his liver, like a bird darting into a snare, little knowing it will cost him his life" (Proverbs 7:22-23).

The author will caution other young men against following the youth's tragic example. But not once does he try to stop the man. Like me, in my imaginary story, he just watches! He criticizes. He shakes his head. He even records the events. But he does nothing, except offer religious homilies!

God warns, "If the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet to warn the people and the sword comes and takes the life of one of them, that man will be taken away because of his sin, but I will hold the watchman accountable for his blood" (Ezekiel 33:6).

The individual who follows a life style, or habituates a practice which is in direct violation of God's Word will be held accountable for that deliberate trespass. And so will the individual who watches, who looks, who notices, and then does nothing else.


Published in the Augusta Chronicle 4/29/95

Copyright 1995 by David Sisler

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