Talking The Talk Verses Walking The Walk
Shibboleth is a rather obscure but important word. More than 3000 years ago, before the age of military uniforms, soldiers of Gilead (the good guys) feared that the enemy was infiltrating their ranks. The story is presented in Judges 12—the situation presented a clear and present danger to the people of Gilead. A simple test was devised to determine who was a true Gileadite and who was not. The test was: correctly pronounce the word, shibboleth.
It seems that the people of Gilead had a peculiar accent, which their enemy could not easily copy. This pronunciation variance was especially clear when pronouncing the word shibboleth. Gileadites pronounced the word, shibboleth—their enemies pronounced the word, sibboleth. A surprise pronunciation test was given to all—those who failed the test perished by the sword.
Many looked like they belong to the tribe of Gilead. They dressed the right way, spoke the language, and did well at blending-in. But in the end, many found out that looking the part is not enough. There is a spiritual parallel all would be wise to consider. Do we, as God’s people, just “Talk the talk?” or do we truly “Walk the walk?”
This audio teaching prompts the question: Where are we in the Judges 12 story? Do we just look the part of a true and faithful Christian, or could it be that there is more that God wants us do? More than 3000 years ago a test was given to determine true loyalty—those who could not pass the test paid a huge price. Let us strive to be the true and faithful followers that God calls us to be so that when we face that final test—the final judgment, we will see the smile of God and hear the words, “Well done my good and faithful servant.” (Matthew 25:21-23).
Here is the link to the audio message: