I bugged and badgered my father to visit the factory where my grandmother’s husband worked.  My grandfather Gibson died years before I was born, having collapsed from a heart attack at age 46.  A few years later, my grandmother married her second husband, Howard Harrison.  Howard was nice man.  Thin as a rail, though a heavy beer drinker.  He worked in a glass factory in Jersey City, New Jersey.

Even as a young boy, I was interested in finding out about my family.  Who they were.  What they did.  Including Howard.  I was made fun of by some for being inquisitive.  Didn’t deter me except for some lingering doubts within.  You know the feeling.  Suspecting you might have been adopted but never told!

So, I learned to assert myself.  Even to going to that infernal factory in Jersey City!  What an experience.  Poor Howard.  Working day-in-and-day-out for decades in that infernal inferno.  Blazing heat.  Sweat cascading down.  Blaring noise forcing us to cover our ears–didn’t help much.  Scary machines.  Claustrophobic spaces.  Molten glass poured into steaming molds.

Poor Howard.  Making a living in a living hell.  I don’t remember him ever retiring.  Only dying… after being told to stop drinking beer.  Poor Howard.  I wished a better workplace for that nice man.

God also wishes better for His chosen people.  However, they turn their backs on Him.  He calls them to turn around and come home to Him.  Jeremiah 11–‘…that I commanded your fathers when I brought them out of the land of Egypt, from the iron furnace…’ (v.4).  Slavery is an iron furnace.  Shackles in a blistering desert.

But deliverance comes by God’s own hand.  From His loving heart.  In Jesus, we are freed from the ‘iron furnace’.  From hell itself.  Yes, hellish whispers can be heard in this life, but the ultimate fiery blast will never consume us.  Not because of how good we are.  No.  Get that straight.  Only because of what God’s Son did for us on the cross.  Jesus’ blood alone delivers from the terrors of hell.  His blood alone.  Got it?

So, thank God.  We can never thank Him enough.  Let’s give it a good try, anyway!

Prayer:  Thank you for delivering us from final judgement.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.



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