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Frank Hay

Frank Hay

This column originally was published April 3, 2015.

Genesis 3:1-6 (HCSB): 1) Now the serpent was the most cunning of all the wild animals that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, 'You can’t eat from any tree in the garden?' " 2) The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit from the trees in the garden. 3) But about the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden, God said, ‘You must not eat it or touch it, or you will die.’” 4) “No! You will not die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5) “In fact, God knows that when you eat it, your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6) Then the woman saw that the tree was good for food and delightful to look at, and that it was desirable for obtaining wisdom. So she took some of its fruit and ate it; she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.

A TV commercial once said, “When E.F. Hutton talks, people listen." There are many voices today seeking our attention. The TV, telephone, salesmen are all around us. We hear about “scams” of all sorts. I received an e-mail telling me a friend was in jail in a foreign country and needed money to get out of jail. Others have sent money in order to claim some large prize. How can we know which voice to heed?

Perhaps the first voice that really impacted our world was the serpent talking to Eve in the Garden of Eden. From this point, man/woman began to use their freedom to its full advantage and do things their own way. The Bible points out how futile this tactic is.

In Proverbs 3:5-8 (HCSB), we read: 5) Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; 6) think about Him in all your ways, and He will guide you on the right paths. 7) Don’t consider yourself to be wise; fear the Lord and turn away from evil. 8) This will be healing for your body and strengthening for your bones."

Having a wise adviser is often viewed as weakness and as unwillingness to make our own decisions. I have personal experience here, and this strategy does not work for me. Can you imagine personally guiding the surgeon doing your own brain surgery? Listening to the wrong advice is not good strategy, either. Just look around our state and nation and we see the corruption in our leadership. This should help us know what we are doing is not working in making life better in America or the world.

My prayer is we all will listen to the voice of the Almighty God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Messiah. Whose voice has your listening ear?

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J. Frank Hay Jr. is a retired Orangeburg pastor and chaplain.

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