(This is a well known American expression for which the Australian equivalent is a “ Rush”. )
In hilly country a considerable distance from Alice Springs, a party of drovers had trouble with a herd of cattle which were at first extremely nervous. For three nights the men had practically no sleep. The slightest disturbances were serious. Once when the “mob” were still not far from their station a foal belonging to the rovers caused a panic which instantly resulted in a thundering rush, or “stampede”.
In open country the usual way to deal with such an emergency is to gallop with the cattle and endeavour to turn them until they are racing in wide circles and finally can be brought under control. To attempt to stop the surging mass of terrified cattle would, almost always, be suicidal.
‘Robbery’ Verses ‘A Priceless Gift’
To deal with a “rush” in rocky or thickly timbered country is an extremely hard task. On this occasion the horsemen were galloping incessantly for three hours! The courage and skill of the most experienced horsemen would be thoroughly tested at such a time. How easily death can result, should a horse make a false step in the way of the panic-stricken bullocks!
On another occasion, a herd of cattle in the Northern Territory broke into a terrific rush in the midnight hours and headed straight for the drovers’ camp. The cook had no time to move out of the way. He grabbed handfuls of hot ashes and coals and flung them into the faces of the charging animals in an endeavour to part the mob and save himself. The “boss” grasped a sack and waved it in the faces of the cattle in the same endeavour to split the herd. He walked backwards as he did this, and so backed into a horse tied nearby. The horse kicked him back among the cattle, but somehow his life was spared, and that of the cook likewise. The latter suffered, however, from badly burned hands.
How like the majority of men and women are these stampeding cattle! How full of nervous tension is our world of today! Fear is on every side, and more than appears on the surface. The forces of hell are stirring up these fears and using them to drive people to their doom. The world as a whole is racing madly to destruction, and millions are dying without a Saviour. Untold numbers are Kept out of heaven by fear. They are afraid to leave the crowd, afraid of a sneer, afraid of what others may say if they come to God! They imagine too, that they may lose some of the things they count precious, and on this account they fear to hear the Gospel or to read the Bible. “The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord”, but they prefer to retain their fears and imagine that this means robbery rather than a priceless gift.
‘Torment’ Verse ‘Joy Unspeakable’
Here is a typical case: a man of our acquaintance has turned away from the great question that has confronted him. He has not long to live, and has a family to keep. He desires to do the best possible for his children. Yet he has allowed himself to be robbed of large sums of money and so has been prevented from obtaining comforts of daily life. He endeavours to drown his fears and worries and find his comfort in strong drink, and how pathetic is his failure!
“Fear has torment”, and it is not God’s wish that human beings should be driven to destruction like panic-stricken cattle. God has sent His only begotten Son to “deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage”. (Hebrews 2:15) Surely a captive welcomes deliverance and a doomed man hails a reprieve with “joy unspeakable”. But the world turns away from its Saviour and pursues its course to hell.
There is only one way to save ourselves from ruin for eternity. We must separate ourselves from the crowd. Of course we cannot be hermits. We must still live among the people of the world. But we need not go their way.
A group of young people in Queensland stood before a crowd from their district and gave their testimonies for their Saviour. One of them had been notorious for his wild living until his conversion some six months or more previously. He told them of the stand he had made and his experience, then seeing many of his old companions there, he said defiantly, “you can go to hell yourselves if you like, bet you’re not going to drag me with you! ”
In more ways than one, there was a call to God’s people when they were mixed up with the heathen long ago: “…come out from among them and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing, and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” (2 Corinthians 6 1″ 18).
We must be prepared to part company with this world if we would gain the world that will never pass away. Does it seem a hard thing to do? If we drop out of the sinful and doubtful things of this present age won’t we be laughed at and criticised? Yes, and probably worse! We do not have to do them any harm to rouse their hostility to us. All we have to do is just not to indulge in their amusements, cease to use their language, stay away from the places they haunt, refrain from laughing at dirty jokes, and we will incur the hatred of some, though we may gain the respect of others. But we cannot be on both sides. This does not put a ban on clean fun or healthy sport, in its right place, but we all know that there are things in this world that will never blend with a clean, honest, and godly life.
Separation A Far Greater Gain
“Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you” wrote the aged apostle John, (1 John 3:13). There is a spirit in the world that has a bitter hatred towards God and His people. To fail to realize this is to miss one of the plainest lessons of the crucifixion.
“If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you”—said the Lord to His disciples. The world may praise the saints of some other age or country but let a pure and spiritual life appear in their midst and it is a different story. Such a life is a silent witness against them and their mode of living and this they cannot endure. “They think it strange that ye run not them to the same excess of riot.” (1 Peter 4:4).
“Forewarned is forearmed”. We should not be taken by surprise. Some Christians have tried to go the way of the crowd, only to find people saying: “Well, what are you doing here?”
The world itself knows that the life that is of God does not harmonise with a worldly life and sooner or later there must be a parting of the ways. We cannot have a divided life.
Perhaps someone who is reading this is faced with a hard choice. The decision to follow Christ seems to involve a painful cost. Then sit down and weigh up the issues. The loss involved will mean far greater gain, and that gain will last forever. Must we really leave the pleasure-loving crowd to take this pathway? Would it not be much easier to go the way of the world and still believe in Christ as our Saviour?
“And yet ’outside the camp’, it was there my Saviour died.
It was ‘the world’ that cast Him out.
And saw Him crucified.
Can I take part with those Who nailed Him to the tree?
And where His name is never praised,
Is that the place for me?
Nay, world, I turn away!
Though thou seem fair and good,
That friendly, outstretched hand of thine,
Is stained with Jesus’ blood”.
We may maintain a pleasant, helpful attitude to others generally, and there will be those who watch us who will want to join us too. But on the whole “the friendship of the world is enmity with God. Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God” (James 4:4).
The crowd is beckoning us to go with them. “Come, and have a drink! Come and enjoy yourself with us”. But what about the way the crowd is going? And what about the end of the way? Then we may hear another voice, patiently, gently calling us to come and leave the crowd as it rushes on to hell.
“Take up thy cross and follow Me”
I hear my blessed Saviour call.
How can I make a lesser sacrifice
When Jesus gave His all?”
Written By : W.A. LONG (Inland Missionary for many years)
Taken From: BLAZING THE TRAIL (Sequel to THE BUSHMAN’S GUIDE)
Acknowledgement: Christian Book Room
Photos By: Kontine Photography