“Hold This!” (Proverbs 5:3-5)

“Come here Son, I want you to hold something.”


I was studying in my father’s dental office after catching the bus from school. I was intrigued since my father always shared something interesting from his office, like models of jaws and teeth that he would show to his patients. My interest was piqued as I approached him in the operatory. 


“Here! Hold this!”


He poured a liquid into my palm. It wasn’t more than an ounce but it felt far heavier. The silver glob had an iridescent sheen as the sunlight shone upon it through the window. Quivering and jiggling, I was befuddled over what I was holding. “What is it, Dad?”


“It’s mercury! It is an element that is a liquid at room temperature.”




“Now let it roll around in your palm and reach your fingers.” As I was about to do this, my father placed a small container under my hand. The liquid metal quickly found its path through my joined fingers and escaped into the container below. “Whoa!” I exclaimed. “I can’t even hold it!”


My father smiled. “That’s why it is also called Quicksilver.”


“Can I take it home?” I naively asked. I definitely wanted to explore this strange metal and show it to my friends. 


“Unfortunately no. It is poisonous and you have to wash your hands very thoroughly.”

Of course, everyone knows that mercury is highly toxic. In the 1960s and, to a much lesser extent, today, mercury was used by dentists to make an amalgam with silver to use with fillings. In this combination, it is relatively safe, but alone, mercury can be toxic to the central nervous system, especially after prolonged exposure. As I dutifully washed my hands, I reflected upon my experience. How could something so cool be so dangerous?


For the lips of an immoral woman are as sweet as honey, and her mouth is smoother than oil.

But in the end she is as bitter as poison, as dangerous as a double-edged sword.

Her feet go down to death; her steps lead straight to the grave.

Proverbs 5:3-5 (NLT)


Whether it is an adulterous affair, financial sleight of hand to evade taxes, or slandering another to advance one’s own position and status, sin deceives, beguiles, and distorts reality. It is enticing, exciting, even exhilarating as it seduces our minds and sensibilities into believing this short term pleasure can lead to long term fulfillment. But like the mercury which I attempted to hold in my hand, it is elusive, slippery, and ultimately poisons and destroys us. The only result is death and the grave.


How could something so cool be so dangerous?


We need to cling to the promises that Jesus Christ gave to all who confess and repent of their sins and place their trust in Him as Lord and Savior. Only then will we able to recognize the true and sinister danger of sin, masquerading as something cool and desirable. 


Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.


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