“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
- Matthew 6:19-21
To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’
“Cursed is the ground because of you;
through painful toil you will eat food from it
all the days of your life.
It will produce thorns and thistles for you,
and you will eat the plants of the field.
By the sweat of your brow
you will eat your food
until you return to the ground,
since from it you were taken;
for dust you are
and to dust you will return.”
- Genesis 3:17-19
The first man was of the dust of the earth; the second man is of heaven.
- 1 Corinthians 15:47
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.
- Proverbs 3:5-6
Now to tie these things together…
I was dining on something that I had prepared myself. I knew what was in the dish, but I suddenly had this metallic taste in my mouth. My brain went to my knowledge of such and I wondered if my sinuses were acting up, but some little troublemaker in my head was saying that I was eating rust. I laughed at the troublemaker and said that it wouldn’t be the first time. I continued to dine, gleefully.
Rust is not in the Scriptures. At least I found no reference in a search of the NIV. The Scripture from the Sermon on the Mount is close. Jesus talks of moths and vermin destroying (as they did with my great-great-grandfather’s powder horn in the photo above), but you must consider His audience. The poor and downtrodden of first century Judea had little more than the clothes on their backs. The craftsmen might have some well-kept tools, but a more common example that everyone could understand was the pests of life that eat holes in our clothing. Jesus was referring to anything that is a treasure on earth tends to rot, wear, become dull, or oxidize. Rust is a form of iron oxidization, where water is also present.
We may place great value in our stuff that is made with iron and steel, but it will eventually become rust, just as we will return to dust.
I wrote a few months ago about children on Christmas morning screaming “Mine! Mine! Mine!” If they only knew that everything is God’s, and someday He will reclaim everything. Don’t ask me the process. I don’t know if there is a parallel universe, already built and waiting, or if God presses some giant reset button and we are all transported back to the Garden of Eden. As an engineer, I could while away at such time-wasting activities as trying to figure out how God might do something in the future.
But, I hope people get through this pandemic with a healthy attitude toward life and everything that is temporary. Sadly, I realize that most will not. They will be too happy to be rid of the restrictions and so enamored by their ideal view of normalcy. They will not notice that the new normal is not like the old one.
But if we could come to grips that everything that is of this earth is going to turn to rust, dust, or overcome with crust. Okay, I might have gone too far with the rhyming words.
And we will go with it, unless we have accepted Jesus as our Savior, unless we TRUST Jesus. Rust and dust will fade away for all unless we trust in the one who can give us second birth. As Paul wrote to the Corinthians, the first of our births is of dust, but the second is of Heaven. And Proverbs explains the difference. We must trust in the Lord.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.