Last week at the half-way point of teaching evangelistic Bible lessons to the Akolet people, Adam Martin used two illustrations to emphasize the importance of God’s Law and man’s inability to make themselves right with God through keeping the Law.
“Suppose a domestic pig wanders off to the bush and gets caught in a pig trap. It struggles and struggles, thinking it can get away on its own. But it can’t. Then the owner finds it in the bush. Will the owner rescue it while it’s still struggling?”
“Of course not,” everyone agreed.
“That’s right. The owner will wait until the pig is exhausted and can struggle no more. Then he will release the pig and take it back to the village. That is like us with the Law. God gave us these commandments so we would realize how futile it is for us to try to make ourselves right in His sight. When we realize that, we stop struggling, and then we’re ready for His way of rescue. For us, that is the Rescuer that God promised way back in the Garden of Eden that He would send.”
The people seemed to fully understand the illustration.
The next day, Adam came to the teaching with charcoal smeared all over his face. There were murmurs, whispers and looks of confusion among the crowd, but no one said anything.
Adam held up a hand mirror. “What is this?”
“A mirror!” the group responded.
“What purpose does the mirror have?”
“It shows us our faces.”
Adam looked in the mirror and feigned surprise. Then he tried to clean his face using the mirror. Everyone told him that wouldn’t work.
“That’s right, the mirror shows me my face is dirty, but its purpose is not to make it clean again. That’s just like the Law. It shows us that we are sinners, separated from God and headed to Hell. But we can’t hope that we will follow it perfectly and thus get God to be happy with us. It doesn’t work like that. There is nothing we can do.”
Afterward several people identified with the illustration.
“I know I’m a sinner!” Liwame said, “I’ve broken most of those commandments”
The Martin’s co-worker, Sarah Warner, asked her, “So what are you going to do?”
“Well there’s nothing I can do!” Liwame said. “I just have to wait for the Rescuer!”
When Toni was asked if there was anything he could do to be made right with God he answered, “No, I can’t do anything. I’m a sinner. Only by waiting for the Rescuer can I find out how to be made right with God.”
Lonsi and Samam agreed that, “We’ve all broken all of these. We’re completely messed up, and headed to Hell. But we know God made a way. We just have to keep listening and finding out what that way is.”
“We all worship all kinds of spirits,” Gari and Amgalme contributed, “We don’t think about God. Well, we do on Sundays, but then the rest of the week we think about all these other spirits and everything else. We’re sinners. We need this Rescuer.”
Aiglas, the village chief
Adam joked with Aiglas, the elderly village chief, saying that because he’s the oldest, he’s probably the “biggest sinner.” Aiglas agreed with a huge smile and said, “But I’ve got to keep hearing this teaching so I learn about the Rescuer.”
“Please pray that these precious people will continue to feel the weight of the law, that it will point out their own helplessness, like the pig in the trap, and that they need God’s provision to save them from Satan, sin and death,” wrote Adam and Julie Martin.