From Frank Jordan
Today we often speak in phrases most have no inkling of origin. While we have previously explored a few phrases sourced from the Bible such as “That’s just a drop in the bucket!” from Isaiah 40:15, let’s discover some more expressions you may not suspect had a Biblical origin.
As I watched a political rally for a victor, the announcer stated, “Many are called but few are chosen.” This familiar
introduction to recognize someone special among many originated in Matthew 22:13 in which the king at a wedding for his son provided the guests magnificent wedding clothes to wear, as was the custom of the times.
The king invited people from all levels of life instead of the socially elite to fill the church and provided them magnificent wedding clothes. When seeing an attending guest not wearing the tailored wedding cloak provided, the king was incensed and cast out the guest for the insult to the King’s generosity.
“Then said the king to the servants, bind him (the ill-dressed guest) hand and foot and take him away…For many are
called but few are chosen.” The meaning of the parable is Christ provides you the cloak of His righteousness and eternal life, but if you choose to not accept the offer, you will be cast out by the King and not enter the kingdom of heaven.
Or how about the occasion when a child performs an act of speech beyond normal capabilities for his or her age; wherein we often hear, “Out of the mouths of babes” come such and such words. This originated from David in Psalms 8:2 which many commentators believe refer to young David’s conquering at the age of 19 as a babe never before in war, the 9’6” giant, Goliath, with only a sling shot and a smooth stone. David then stated in the Psalm, “Out of the mouths of babes and infants, hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies.”
Although a young, small and untrained shepherd boy, David is saying it was the power and presence of God with him against His giant Philistine enemy that caused the victory for Israel. We need to be aware of the giants in our lives today and who has the power to slay life’s huge issues we can’t conquer alone.
When an event or happening is going to occur no matter what we do, we say “The writing is on the wall.” This phrase was presented in the Bible in Daniel 5:5 in the story of Belshazzar's feast. Belshazzar as King of Babylonia was hosting a drunken party using the confiscated sacred gold temple vessels of Israel as wine goblets. Suddenly, a
disembodied hand wrote on the palace wall! Belshazzar was scared and sought an explanation. When none of his wise men or court could provide an answer, the kink summoned the Israelite exile, Daniel.
Daniel responded, “This is the interpretation of the writing on the wall: God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it. Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting. Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.” As Daniel predicted, that night Belshazzar after abusing the sacred vessels of God, was killed and Darius the Mede assumed control and authority just as foretold by the handwriting on the wall!
Frankly speaking, Belshazzar, as many today, should have taken heed of the certainty that our actions, whether good or bad, will have consequences as we read in Galatians 6:7, “Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” Those words should make us think and help guide us in our relationships and actions with one another before we, “Give up the ghost.” Look it up in the Good Book!