John 18:10 (KJV): “Then Simon Peter having a sword drew it, and smote the high priest’s servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant’s name was Malchus.”
COMMENTARY: “Rash” means ill-advised and hasty action. Recently, I hiked up a mountain trail that I used to take regularly with two close friends during my high school years. At one point, there is a side trail that goes to the base of some tall cliffs. One day back in the 1970s, the three of us took that trail and reached the bottom of the cliffs in mid-to-late afternoon. We had no gear for cliff-climbing, but one of my friends impulsively said, “Let’s climb these cliffs.” I immediately and firmly refused, saying that we were not prepared, not experienced, and that the sun would be setting soon. My two friends rashly decided to go for it, with no helmets, no ropes, nothing! They couldn’t even see where the cliffs went; they assumed that the ridge trail was at the top of the cliff. Wrong!
Off they went, higher and higher to a height of what I estimate to be 125 feet, with me watching them straight up from the bottom. Then, they shouted down to me that they were stuck. They couldn’t come down, and they couldn’t go up. Miraculously, as my friend was clinging to some brush,some hikers along the ridge trail heard him and had some ve rope. They tied the rope around a big tree, and threw it over the edge. My friends were able to climb the rope to safety.
Here we are nearly 50 years later, and both of my friends recently retired. One had a successful career in finance, the other a successful career in television. They both had wives and families. It is very possible that my friends could have died that fateful afternoon. For what? The thrill of risk-taking?
APPLICATION: Like Peter in today’s passage, I’ve made several rash decisions myself, and I’ve lived to regret them. I’m sure you have, too. The moral of today’s story is don’t be rash at work or anywhere! In a split second, you can make rash decisions with detrimental and even deadly consequences. Instead, pray for and listen to wisdom when she speaks, no matter how much peer pressure is directed at you. Don’t follow the herd literally and figuratively off the cliff!
For Further Exploration
For further exploration about Genesis 10:5 (KJV), read Noah’s Descendants and the Tower of Babel (Genesis 10:1-11:32) from the Theology of Work Bible Commentary.