Posted by: pastormikemcdowell | May 15, 2015

May 15, 2015 “Veruca Salt”

“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.” (Exodus 20:4)

“All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything.” (1 Corinthians 6:12)

Image result for veruca salt

Good Morning Everyone, and a blessed Friday to you!

There are certain films, for whatever reason, that rise to the status of what could be called “Cult Classics.” So beloved are these films by particular groups of people that they are viewed so often that their devotees could quote line by line the dialog of the film. They know every character and their foibles thoroughly. One such film that has achieved such a cult following is based on a book by author Ronald Dahl called “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” For those few who are unfamiliar with the book or the film, in a nutshell, the story it tells is that of a promotion of a confectioner named Willy Wonka who distributes millions of candy bars across the globe, five of which include a coveted “Golden Ticket” which would allow those fortunate enough to obtain it access to his highly secretive chocolate factory.  One of the winners is a very spoiled young girl named Veruca Salt, whose indulgent parents cater to her every whim and desire. Her father spends thousands of dollars on the candy bars in the hopes of finding the golden ticket she just simply must have. Veruca is portrayed as a cute and pretty girl but the epitome of a spoiled brat. She is an immature, overindulged, manipulative, extremely selfish, wealthy young girl (in a stereotypical manner – lives in a mansion, is driven around in a limo, etc.) whose affluent parents treat her like a princess and give her anything she wants, no matter how ridiculous the price or how outrageous the item is. She obtains the ticket, but in the film, intent on owning a goose that lays golden eggs, she finds herself on a scale which separates the good eggs from the bad eggs, is adjudged to be a “bad egg”, and is ejected from the factory.

Veruca’s story is really one of idolatry and covetousness. While having virtually unlimited access to every good thing imaginable, it never satisfies, and she always wants something more. The “graven images” of materialism make her blind to the realities of the blessings she enjoys each day. Like the children of Israel, the “golden idols” of a past life held an alarming charm in her heart, though they were forbidden. Though God had delivered his people from bondage and provided sustenance for them in the desert, their hearts yearned for those things that had enslaved them in the past. They began doubting God. Though they had access to God’s manifold blessings, they were not satisfied and they were mastered by those desires, just as Veruca was mastered by her own avarice. Christian author Edward Welch wrote of the sin of idolatry, saying:

“This is how idolatry grows in our hearts.  We want things and we aren’t sure God will give them to us, so we put our trust in other gods. This is THE problem of the human heart—misplaced trust.”

We begin to trust in other “gods” to be the source of those other things we desire, despite the fact that God provides for our every need. Like Veruca Salt, we become “immature, overindulged, manipulative, and extremely selfish”, hardly characteristic or reflective of the one redeemed by Christ. Don’t be like Veruca. Trust in the Lord. He knows your needs and supplies those needs abundantly. Let’s pray!

Heavenly Father; As I consider your constant care and your steadfast love, I understand my foolishness in pursuing those things that will never satisfy. You are my all-in-all, my heart’s deepest desire. Thank you, my Lord, for your generous grace that is of value beyond measure. Amen!

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