In Isaiah forty-first chapter, tenth verse, we read, “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will up righteousness.” hold thee with the right hand of my One of the most beautiful thoughts brought out in this text is that we are upheld by the right hand of God. We couldn’t think of falling if we realize that God’s hand is beneath us, and that His everlasting arms are so entwined about us that we could never think of walking in a forbidden path. As long as God’s hand is beneath us it would be impossible for the devil to set a snare and catch us by the foot.
If all church members could just realize that God’s hand was beneath them, not another one of them would ever be found in the ballroom. And such a thing as happened the other night in a ballroom in a city where I was holding a meeting would never happen again. A young lady that was a Sunday school teacher in a large church was waltzing on the ballroom floor, and making one of the whirls, she fell and the back of her head struck the hardwood floor, and fractured her skull. She was taken up unconscious between nine and ten o’clock at night and died the next morning at six, never regaining her consciousness.
Nobody could possibly believe that that young woman was upheld by the right hand of God. We will have to admit that the devil set a snare and led her into it and threw her down on the floor and broke her head in order that he might disgrace the church of Jesus Christ, and put a Sunday school teacher out of commission, and probably keep her out of heaven forever. At least the outlook is doubtful. Of course we will hope for the better. We trust that some way God intervened and saved her soul, but the best construction that can be put on it in this world is that if she escaped the outer darkness it was merely by the skin of her teeth. It will look to the world like she died a backslider, and it doesn’t look like a woman enjoying the fellowship and companionship with Jesus would ever dream of breaking her skull on a ballroom floor.
My sympathy goes out to the pastor that would have to conduct the funeral service over the dead body of one of his members that had fallen and broken her head in a big ball. We have no idea what a preacher could say; in fact, there is nothing the poor man could say. I suppose he could take for a text, “Will not the judge of all the earth do right?” and leave her soul in the hands of God, and commit her body to the ground. But if he did his duty in trying to preach the funeral he was almost compelled to warn his people against the dance. That preacher must know that that young lady had taken her hands out of God’s hand, and for the time being turned away from the leadership of Jesus, the companionship of saints, the protecting power of the Holy Ghost, and yielded to the subtle temptation of the devil for a big night’s carousal in the ballroom.
The reader will remember that this is not the only ballroom tragedy. We read in an old Book of a king who gave a ball to a thousand of his lords and concubines. They danced and drank wine until they were wild and frenzied. Then to defy the God of heaven they sent to the church of God and brought the golden vessels and drank wine out of them. While the dance was going on we read that an army had come from a foreign nation, had cut a channel and turned the course of a river. They went under the walls of the city and captured it during the night, and before the break of day we read that the king was slain. The dance halls and ballrooms have slain their millions.
I would judge that the ballroom has done as much to rob the church of Jesus Christ of its life and glory and unction as any other one institution that the devil has gotten up. I was preaching in another city when a young lady sang in the choir on Sunday morning, and just before the preacher preached she sang a beautiful solo. But on the previous Thursday night she danced the most of the night wearing a mask in a big hall four blocks from where I was preaching. Between twelve and one o’clock a man came in with big horns and a long wire tail and had his mask so arranged that he could blow fire out through what looked to be a nose. The young woman screamed that her hubby had come, and this church solo singer ran into the arms of the devil. As he blew fire in her face, she screamed and they waltzed together over the big parlor until it was said to have been the most enjoyable occasion that had been pulled off in the community the whole season. I preached a few nights after this disgraceful transaction and said that a woman like that would disgrace a street harlot to keep company with her. Behold, after that I heard that her pastor was there and heard the sermon I delivered, and I do hope that he was, for maybe the word reached her that one preacher in town thought she was a disgrace to the cause of Jesus Christ.
Could any sane man or woman on earth believe that that woman was upheld by the right hand of God? Could any thinking man believe that His everlasting arms were beneath her? Could any sane person think she was led by the Holy Ghost? Could any reasonable person believe that that woman was on good ground? Our old fathers used to pray and thank God that they were on praying grounds and pleading terms with God. Beloved, can you believe that that young woman was on such grounds? No, verily. No reasonable person can believe that that is the road that leads to the city in the skies. No man or woman of ordinary intelligence would think that that young woman was bringing glory to the name of Jesus, when she was waltzing in the arms of the devil and screaming and yelling. How different it would have been if she had been upheld with the right hand of God!
Beloved, there is no safer place in this world than to keep in God’s hands; there is nothing so dangerous as to get out. Let us have an understanding that we will allow our gracious Heavenly Father to place His blessed, protecting hand beneath us and uphold us. I will join you at the throne and meet you at the Marriage Supper and rejoice with you forever, and then while eternity unfolds we can rejoice together.