Personal Journal

Step on a crack and break your mother’s back.

In the same day I will punish all those who leap over the threshold, who fill their masters household with violence and deceit. Zep 1:9

When I read this passage I noticed that the margin of my bible referred me to 1 Samuel 5 where it talks about the Philistine god Dagon. In 1 Samuel 5, the god Dagon (which is a statue of some sort) falls down face first because of the ark of God which the Philistines had captured and put in their temple. This happens twice. The second time the statue falls, it falls on the threshold of the temple entry way and it falls in such a way that the statue’s head and hands are severed off. So when the priests of Dagon come into the temple the next day, there lay their deity on the ground, headless and hand-less.

So it seems that scholars believe that because of this instance a particular superstition was developed. And the superstition was probably something like this: “Whoever steps on any threshold is cursed!” Hence the reason our passage speaks of those who ‘leap over the threshold.” Apparently there were many Jews who adopted this pagan superstition.

Today there are a lot of superstitions. “Step on a crack and break your mother’s back,” “Seven years bad luck if you break a mirror,” “It’s bad luck to walk under a ladder,” etc. And the crazy thing is that a lot of people follow these and other superstitions!

The reason I bring this up is because superstition is an extreme insult to God. And this, besides the fact that it is ridiculous and completely illogical.  When you believe a superstition you are beleving it based off of hearsay. Somebody, somewhere told you that if you break a mirror you will have bad luck for 7 years. Or someone told you that they walked under a ladder and had a terrible day because of it.

I remember when I was a little kid that would be extra sure not to step on a crack when walking on the sidewalk.  And still to this day I hesitate before walking under a ladder because it was ingrained in me that it was bad luck (although I’m sure it’s not really safe to walk under ladders anyway. However, I carefully walk under them anyway for spite.)

Some people think that believing in the Lord is the same thing, but it’s not. Believing in God and Jesus is not hearsay, but it is believing the testimonies of several eyewitnesses, just like it would be in a court case.  We have the words of those who walked and talked with Jesus, who saw Him perform the miracles, heard the voice from heaven, and touched him after He was raised from the dead. And just as important we have the Holy Spirit that bears witness to these things, that they are true. We aren’t believing heresay. We are believing eyewitnesses.

So superstition is the opposite of faith.  Next time you are tempted to obey a superstition, do the opposite. Go break a mirror if you have to, and do it all to the glory of God.

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