As a kid, I spent a lot of time alone in the woods and fields. My Dad gave me a Remington 20 guage pump shotgun when I was about 11 years old, so I would take my shotgun with my red rubber boots on, and off to the woods and fields I would go. The woods around our place were flat, and water stood much of the time, hence, the red rubber boots. We had a field that grew sage grass profusely, and I would shoot meadowlarks and any other moving creatures I could find. One day my imagination took me to playing with fire in the field. I was playing like the field caught on fire in a little area that I was actually lighting a fire with matches and putting it out. Well, the wind whipped around with my little fire, and before I knew it, the whole field was on fire, out of control. It burned the field off and was threatening the neighbor’s field, but somewhere in the mix, the forest service was called and they brought their fire plow and other equipment and headed it off. I am ashamed to say that upon inquiry by my Dad as to the cause of the fire, I told him I was shooting at meadowlarks and the gun must have sparked and caught the field on fire. I regret not telling the truth to him to this day. I was afraid of what he would do to me, and the truth did not come out until years later, although he probably already had it figured out.
The old proverb is true, if you play with fire, you are going to get burned. Sometimes we play with fire and don’t even realize it. The Bible tells us in James 5:1-6 that if an employer defrauds the people, keeping back money that is owed them, it will “eat your flesh as it were fire.” Not treating people fairly and righteously is playing with fire in a field of grass. That fire can be fanned by the winds of life and a disease will manifest that will burn in one’s flesh like a fire out of control. Of course, all disease is not because we personally have lived unrighteous and done people wrong. Disease hits children. But as a responsible adult we do well to take heed to what the word says. The good news is there is a holy forest service in the finished work of Jesus Christ whose purpose and power is to wash our sins away and heal our diseases. We can call the heavenly 911 number and cooperate with him. We all mess up, but Jesus has come to fix up, restore, and make new. The “violent” take the heavenly kingdom by force, which means we must sometimes take some radical action with the fire plow of the Word of God to keep our whole place from being burned off by the fire (Matthew 11:12).