Little Jack Horner

Sat in a corner

Eating a Christmas pie;

He stuck in his thumb

And pulled out a plumb, 

And said, “What a good boy am I.”

Why did Jack isolate himself to the corner?  Was it to eat a pie he had stolen?  Or so he didn’t need to share it with anyone?  The lack of utensils would point to this.  And, is just declaring himself ‘good’ mean that he is now indeed good despite his behavior?

That’s how sinners and others who stray from God’s Word would like to have it, especially in this politically correct culture in which each person develops his own standard of conduct and declares it ‘good.’  But, God has a standard recorded in the pages of Scripture that He tells us to follow.

I.  Judges 17:1-13.  Five wrongs don’t make a right.  Micah steals from his mother, but to his credit returns the silver.  His mother then has it made into an idol, which Micah puts into his home, makes a shine, other gods, and articles of worship for it, and installs his sons as priests to it.  The writer interjects an explanation here that everyone at this time did what was right in his own eyes (Matthew 7:6-13).  Then, Micah gets a Levite to be a priest to the idol and declares that God will now prosper him because he has made a sad attempt at restoring his actions to God’s Word.

II.  2 Chronicles 34:15-21.  But, is ‘good enough’ good enough for God?  We can fool ourselves, but God knows our true motives (Proverbs 16:1-3).  James 1:5-8 tells us that He’ll help us with wisdom, and James 4:3-4 reminds us that we can’t compromise with the world.  While the world tells us that truth is whatever we make it, God says that’s not so (Proverbs 30:20).  Instead, we need to repent and return to God’s Word like Josiah or like the church at Ephesus was encouraged to do (Revelation 2:4-6).

III.  2 Corinthians 5:6-10.  Cain was told that if he did what was right, he would be accepted (Genesis 4:6-7).  The prodigal son needed to come to his senses and get up and return to his father (Luke 15:17-20) to be pleasing.  So, we must repent and submit to God’s will (James 4:7-10) if we are to please God.  We can’t just declare ourselves pleasing to God with the plumb from the stolen pie on our thumb and expect Him to say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

Perhaps we should rewrite the nursery tale:

Little Jack Horner

Got up from the corner

Returning his Christmas pie;

He repented of sin

Was restored from within, 

And said, “What a good boy am I.”