2002-11-26 - The Turnpike Gate
Isaiah 35:8 And a highway will be there, a roadway, and it will be called the Highway of holiness. The unclean will not travel on it, but it will be for him how walks that way.
I was reading an article (if you read my devotionals often you know my motto: I rarely read anything less than 100 years old.), and it had an interesting story about the keeper of a turnpike gate. Now this article was written long before cars existed, and I love history, but I never knew that there were toll takers for people before cars existed. In fact, I never thought the term turnpike was any older than the car, but it is.
Apparently the job of turnpike keeper was a job that was 24/7, 365 days a year. So this article is an admonishment to the turnpike keeper to quit his job and make sure that he attended public worship. The article reads, "Your situation debars you from public worship; your punctual attendance on the duties of your lawful worldly concerns interferes with your meditation, reading and prayer." The article goes on to state that the turnpike worker beholds persons of "all ages and conditions, young and old, rich and poor..." It says further that the road "represents human life; the travelers all who live, and each one on his journey to 'his long home'" Then it says the amazing words, "Their journeys will be soon ended."
Now, yesterday I was on the PA turnpike and I had to deal with a toll taker who wanted my money. But I never thought that my journey would soon be ended. However, it will. That is hard to realize, but even if the Lord gives me seventy more years, seven more years, or seven more days, hours, seconds (you get the point), everyone who was alive when this article was published is now dead. That is our story. That is our future, unless we live to see the return of Christ. There is a lot of talk about the return of Christ these days and everyone seems to be seeing the "signs," but I remind you that the Apostle Paul thought the same thing when he wrote 1 Thessalonians and we see a marked change of tone when we read 2 Thessalonians.
We seek to be prepared to meet the Lord at anytime, but the rapture does not mean that we live as if we will not stand before God when we die. Christians who rest in the shed blood of Christ will stand before the Father in the end, but so will everyone. Either way, Jesus Christ is all our righteousness (1 John 2:1) or He will be our judge.
The article I read is interesting. It assumes that people don't pay. I recently heard that the E-Zpass system in the Northeast has had 11 million dollars in violations. It also said that there has been 33 million dollars shelled out to get the 11 million back. If you are laughing you should be. However, that was for free, what I really want to conclude with is the following.
The article ends with the following line, "I wish thee, traveler, a safe journey. May we meet at its termination." I look forward to meeting many of you one day. I hope that these devotionals are a help to you on your journey toward glory (no toll gates). When we meet in glory it will be a joy to see each of those who have influenced us, encouraged us, been our support, and helped us grow in the grace of Christ. I encourage you to be a seeker and giver of that support in Christ. And by the way, eternity is a long time. I have a lot of questions. I claim rights to Christ alone for the first 10,000 years of eternity, but I am thinking that might not work out.
Soli Deo Gloria,