Laboratory Rat – Today’s Youth Devotion

Laboratory Rat

Bible Reading: Exodus 37:1-3, 10-24

Bezalel made the ark [of the covenant] of acacia wood. … He overlaid it with pure gold, both inside and out, and made a gold molding around it.   Exodus 37:1-2, NIV

“IT’S RUINED! It’s totally ruined!” The scientist pressed his hands against his head as if he were trying to crush his own skull.

“What, master?” hissed his assistant, a stooped man in a lab coat.

“The experiment is ruined! It’s all wasted—all my years of research and work!”

The assistant looked back and forth from the scientist’s face to the test tubes and dishes that were spread out on the vast table in front of them.

The scientist turned angry eyes on his assistant. “Because that. . . ,” he said, pointing to a white metal box in the corner, “is not a refrigerator!”

The assistant cast a panicked glance at the box. “It… it’s n-not?”

“No!” the scientist shouted. “It is … or was . . . ,” he said, struggling to control the emotion in his voice, “a hermetically sealed environment for controlling, perhaps reversing, the human aging process!” He opened the door and pulled out a ham salad sandwich and a Fruit Roll-Up. He held the sandwich in one hand and shook it in his assistant’s face. “You … you … you dirty rat! That box had been sealed for thirteen years, and you ruined thirteen years of work with . . . with a . . . ham sandwich!”

The assistant blinked and cleared his throat. “It… it’s, uh, ham salad, sir,” he said.

So what’s the big deal about putting a ham salad sandwich in a hermetically sealed environment? The reason the scientist got so upset was that his experiment had been ruined because it was no longer pure. Impurities had ruined his experiment.

That’s not only true in scientific experiments; it’s true in a lot of things. Pure gold is worth more than gold mixed with other metals or ingredients; that’s why Bezalel and the others who helped build the furnishings for God’s tabernacle made sure they used pure gold for the ark and all the other stuff. Because purity is good.

That’s also why God wants us to be pure. He doesn’t want our lives to be made impure because of sin. Of course, we can’t make ourselves pure or keep ourselves pure—only God can. He can forgive our sins and purify us from all our guilt and unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). Are you trusting God to help you live a pure life?

REFLECT: Why do you think using “pure gold” was so important to the people who helped build the furnishings for God’s tabernacle? Do you have the power to keep yourself pure (free from sin)? Why do you think God’s help is necessary to lead a pure life?

ACT: Check your kitchen cupboards for something that has the word pure on it (a box, a bottle, and so on). Place that item in a place where it can remind you to trust God to help you live a pure life.

PRAY: “God, remind me that purity is good and right not only in gold but in my life, too.”