“He who splits logs is endangered by them.” Ecclesiastes 10:9
Oppressors may get their will of poor and needy men as easily as they can split logs of wood, but they had better mind, for it is a dangerous business, and a splinter from a tree has often killed the woodman. Jesus is persecuted in every injured saint, and he is mighty to avenge his beloved ones. Success in treading down the poor and needy is a thing to be trembled at: if there be no danger to persecutors here there will be great danger hereafter.
To split wood is a common everyday business, and yet it has its dangers; so then, reader, there are dangers connected with your calling and daily life which it will be well for you to be aware of. We refer not to hazards by flood and field, or by disease and sudden death, but to perils of a spiritual sort.
Your occupation may be as humble as log splitting, and yet the devil can tempt you in it. You may be a domestic servant, a farm laborer, or a mechanic, and you may be greatly screened from temptations to the grosser vices, and yet some secret sin may do you damage. Those who dwell at home and don’t mingle with the rough world may still be endangered by their very seclusion.
Nowhere is he safe who thinks himself so. Pride may enter a poor man’s heart. Avarice may reign in a cottager’s bosom. Uncleanness may venture into the quietest home. Anger and envy and malice may insinuate themselves into the most rural abode. Even in speaking a few words to a servant we may sin: a little purchase at a shop may be the first link in a chain of temptations, and the mere looking out of a window may be the beginning of evil.
O Lord, how exposed we are! How shall we be secured! To keep ourselves is work too hard for us: only you yourself are able to preserve us in such a world of evils. Spread your wings over us, and we, like little chickens, will cower down beneath you and feel ourselves safe!
Adapted from Morning and Evening.