Deuteronomy 5:8-10 – Just Gimme My Discount Tickets & Let Me Outta Here!

Posted: December 20, 2016 in Book of Deuteronomy
Tags: , , ,

Deuteronomy 5:8-10
Make No Idols

If any of you who actually read my blogs have been wondering what’s going on. Yes, I am on vacation in the Orlando area. I have not been here since probably maybe it was the late 1990’s or right after the turn of the century, but boy, has a lot changed and also so have I. Back then I was much younger and wanted my vacations to be about going and doing and cramming as much in as possible. During those years, I had three stepsons to entertain which made vacations about the going and the doing. Vacations now almost two decades later are, to me, about a cooler and a beach and doing nothing. Relaxation from a busy lifestyle of one and half jobs and all that entails is what I am after when I pick my vacation spot. Although this trip to probably the busiest place on earth with its lines and lots of people everywhere and it take a half hour to go somewhere that should take ten minutes has been unique, it will be marked off as having done that but to never return.

Yesterday, we had an “interesting” experience to say the least. In an effort to get discounted tickets to Epcot Center, we agreed to sit through a time share presentation at a Wyndham resort here in Orlando where they sell time shares. We have spent the better part of 7 years getting our finances in order and we knew what this was going to be about. Elena and I did not have to say anything to each other about the fact that we were not going to buy anything or agree to anything or sign away our names on anything. We would just endure the high pressure sails tactics and get our discounted tickets and get out of there. It was brutal. When you know that you are not going to buy, sitting and listening to some slick talking brother going through his schpeel was an excruciatingly painful exercise in boredom and trying not to say key words and phrases that these guys jump on. These guys are trained to convince you that you need something that you didn’t even know you needed before you walked in the door. It’s the classic bait and switch. They get you in there with promises of discount tickets, prizes, vacations, etc. just so they can have the opportunity to do the hard sell. I have been through these things before. Time share sales presentation, I know how they work. What bothers me about them is that there are people that were in this place with us that I knew were succumbing to the pressure. There were those that were going to be seduced by the seeming privileges of the time share program was going to give them. They were going to be seduced by the beauty of the place. They were going to be seduced by desire for something finer than what they have in their lives now. With that established, these vultures then swoop in with the deal. We actually got to see what this deal was. $104,000 financed for 10 years at 17.99% interest. Can you believe that??? 17.99% interest exists in 2016? Wow! What may have been an acceptable interest rate in the late 1970’s of that nature is now only reserved for those who have incredibly bad credit. And they are selling this interest rate to people and they are buying off on it. Otherwise, these guys would not still be in business. It’s selling! I just laughed a hearty laugh when the salesman showed me that schedule. They lost whatever little credibility they had left with me at that point…and I just lost it….although in a nice way. You know how it works. When the initial salesman doesn’t make the sale, you have to endure another grueling presentation from his “manager.” When that guy got over there, I had come to the point of having enough. No discount tickets were worth this. I told him flat to his face, I don’t care what you are going to say, I just want my voucher for my discount tickets and I want out of here NOW! The dude actually threw his pen on the table as if I had offended him. I said to myself, you can act all offended with your 17.99% interest rate all you want to buuuuud! I’m out! Microphone drop!

The pity of it all is that there are people who are seduced by the god of excess. They will buy up these time shares at exorbitant interest rates because it will give them status that they can show off to their friends. It does not matter whether you can afford it or not. You are just shark meat in in the shark tank of the American Dream. Americans what immediate gratification. We want immediate riches and entertainment and whatever makes me feel good for the moment. That’s our god. That’s what we worship. The graven images are time share condos in Orlando. They are cruises to the Caribbean Islands. They are houses that we cannot afford. They are cars that cost as much as houses used to. The cars now are shrines to what we think we have to have, that were considered luxuries years ago. We are seduced by the god of excess. We craft images of high rise condos with exclusivities that massage your need for segregation from the normal people. We craft images of houses, and cars, and jewelry, and you name it.

That trip through this sales presentation yesterday morning that lasted 3 plus hours (when they said it was only going to be 90 minutes) and how they prey upon our need for graven images in our lives is what I thought of when I read today’s passage, Deuteronomy 5:8-10, this morning. Let’s read it now:
8 “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 9 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 10 but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments. 8 “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 9 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 10 but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.

That was ultimately the comforting thing to me yesterday is that Elena and I do not have to have the symbols of luxury to make us happy. We used to be that way. However, since we have met Jesus Christ as our Savior and have matured in our walk with Him, it is such a release to know that none of this stuff here on this planet really matters. As the old saying goes, “you will never find a U-Haul trailer behind a hearse!” When we realize that we are here to give glory to God and to God only, it changes the mindset. The trinkets that once seemed so important are almost laughable now. To think that we NEED the opulent excess of the place that we saw yesterday that we would be willing to sell our soul for $1,270 a month at 17.99% interest for a place that we might use two or three weeks a year, it makes me laugh in incredulity. It also makes me cry that that there are those that are still chasing that humanistic dream of wealth and riches such that these things become gods. They will buy the $1,270 a month payment. They will go bankrupt doing it. And they will come up empty. May God show them the light. May God become the central focus of their lives such that these time share scams no longer have an audience.

Amen and Amen.

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