Today I have given you the choice between life and death . . . Oh, that you would choose life (Deuteronomy 30:19, NLT).
Doug Ross, President of the Evangelical Publishers Association, tells a very enlightening story.
He reported that the Puffer fish is probably the most poisonous creature in the sea. It contains poison 275 times more deadly than cyanide.
Yet, to the Japanese, the raw flesh of the Puffer, or fugu, as they call it, is the ultimate delicacy. Fugu is a type of Puffer fish.
Diners will pay $150 per person for a complete fugu meal. But for real gourmets, nothing can match the flavor of its liver. It is here that the poison is most concentrated. Although chefs are forbidden by law to serve it, they are sometimes begged, bribed, or bullied into doing so.
The results are delicious but often lethal. It is a grim way to die.
The toxin acts on the nervous system.
The first symptom is a tingling on the lips and mouth. Then the fingers go numb and paralysis starts to spread throughout the body. “Even though you can think very clearly,” says one Japanese restaurant owner, “your arms and legs become numb. It becomes impossible to sit up. You cannot speak, cannot move, and soon cannot breathe.” Death may follow within minutes, or it may take six hours. There is no known antidote.
The article goes on to say that, “If properly prepared, the flesh is usually quite safe, but there is no way of telling until one has eaten it.”
Isn’t it strange and sad how we mere mortals taste or sometimes feast on things of this world that bring us death? There is both spiritual poison and spiritual life-giving food available to all. Life or death depends on which we choose.
It reminds me of the words of the Psalmist in Psalms 34:8: “Taste and see that the Lord is good. Oh, the joys of those who trust in Him!”
Carefully prepared and seasoned with love, the gospel promises eternal life — abundant life — not death within minutes, but life for an eternity.