LIFELINES

Acknowledge the horses ... and the corn

Bettie Marlowe
Posted 9/8/17

My dad told me years ago, “An excuse is something you tell to keep from telling the truth.”

Remember the man who hid the one talent? “Oh Lord, I knew you were a hard man; I was fearful, so I …

This item is available in full to subscribers

LIFELINES

Acknowledge the horses ... and the corn

Posted

My dad told me years ago, “An excuse is something you tell to keep from telling the truth.”

Remember the man who hid the one talent? “Oh Lord, I knew you were a hard man; I was fearful, so I hid it away. You see, I really didn’t want to lose it” — Oh, what a wonderful out.

And how about Adam, right at the beginning! “Lord, this woman — she made me do it!” (Nowadays, it’s “the devil made me do it.”)

“I acknowledge the corn” was a phrase used in the 19th century much like “copping a plea” now.

It came from an incident involving a man who was arrested and charged with stealing four horses and the corn to feed them. He declared, “I acknowledge the corn,” meaning admission to stealing the corn, but not the horses. I suppose the penalty for stealing horses is much more severe than stealing corn.

When caught in a wrongdoing, naturally it’s easier to admit to a smaller offense if it gets the bigger offense off the record. Or why not just place the blame on someone else.

King Saul of the Old Testament must have taken a page from this philosophy. He was caught red-handed in disobedience. First of all he tried to justify himself. God had told him to completely destroy the Amalekites, but King Saul had a “better” idea. He would not only save the king, but he would save the best of the cattle, too. After all, would they not make great sacrifices to God? And wouldn’t the king be a great trophy to parade?

“I did everything just like God told me to,” said Saul.

But the prophet Samuel found out he veered somewhat from the truth.

But Saul was ready with his “acknowledge the corn” plea. Everything he did was right in his eyes and he had the best of reasons — ultimate pride.

“Obedience is better than sacrifice,” Samuel said.

“But ... but ...” Find a course of action; bluff my way; act hurt and offended; and if all else fails, blame it on somebody else. The mentality of “prideful excuses” is whatever happens, “it just can’t be my fault. No, I didn’t do it — somebody else must have. And even if I did, it was definitely anther’s fault — ‘I acknowledge the corn.’”

The temptation was too great, some like to say.

That’s not what the Bible says. “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed” (James 1:13, 14).

Isn’t it time to just acknowledge the horses, along with the corn?

Comments

No comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment

X

Print subscribers have FREE access to clevelandbanner.com by registering HERE

Non-subscribers have limited monthly access to local stories, but have options to subscribe to print, web or electronic editions by clicking HERE

We are sorry but you have reached the maximum number of free local stories for this month. If you have a website account here, please click HERE to log in for continued access.

If you are a print subscriber but do not have an account here, click HERE to create a website account to gain unlimited free access.

Non-subscribers may gain access by subscribing to any of our print or electronic subscriptions HERE