We’re not told what Jesus wrote in the sand. It would seem, however, that, whether He wrote words or simply drew a line, it was a statement to the religious people who were trying to trick Him into making a judgement about the fate of a ‘sinful woman’. Jesus said a few words, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” These words, together with the wordless statement in the sand, caused the accusers to walk away, one at a time, leaving the accused woman alone with Jesus. The words Jesus spoke to the woman were in the form of a command, “Go now and leave your life of sin.” For her, there was a line in the sand which she was not to cross again. She would have a new life and a new future, if she obeyed Jesus.
No-one seems to know the true origin and meaning of the statement, “Draw a line in the sand.” Today it is often used in the sense of setting a limit that you refuse to go beyond, thus far and no further, something that you refuse to do, or something which you will not compromise over. It can mean a point of no return, a point beyond which one must continue going forward, because going back would be dangerous.
Believers living in a secular society, which embraces the notion that there is no ultimate right or wrong, cannot escape drawing lines in the sand if they are to stand firm in their faith without compromising. To draw a line in the sand against deception and falsehood, and stand for biblical truth, has been costly for some believers, even in the western world. We are all called to do this, not just a few.
In the city where I live there are believers from different nations who have had to flee from their homeland in fear of their lives. They have drawn a line in the sand against their culture and their religion, out of love for Jesus. In consequence they have lost everything. They do not complain about what they have lost, but rejoice for all they have gained in Christ.
Do you need to draw a line in the sand against something? Is there anything in your life which dishonours the Lord you profess to love? If we are holding on to something which is more important to us than Jesus, it is an idol which needs to be demolished from the throne of our heart. Is there someone whom you have struggled to forgive for years? Draw that line in the sand. Be determined to truly forgive and become what you were created to be, rather than going through life with a bitter spirit.
Is God asking you to draw a line in the sand which separates you from the past because He wants to do a new thing and lead you into something new? The present may be safe and comfortable. It may even be a place of service rather than a place you are seeking to leave. If God asks you to draw a line in the sand, He will not be able to lead you into a new thing until you obey Him. So, draw the line and trust Him to lead you.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, please give me grace to trust and honour You where I am planted today. I ask for courage and integrity to stand firm in my faith, determined not to compromise with the world and its values. I ask You to keep my eyes fixed on Jesus and to fill me with Your Holy Spirit, so I can be Your fearless witness. I pray for the glory of Jesus. Amen.
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