"And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off."
-- Exodus 20:18
My dad started teaching me electrical wiring when I was about 10 years old. I became instantly fascinated with that unseen power of electricity. How could anything I could not see light up a room, turn a motor to power a drill, or create heat?
Electricity is defined as the flow of electrons over a conductor. An electron is a negative, subatomic particle in orbit around the nucleus of an atom. A conductor is a material that permits the flow of electrons. Silver is the best conductor; copper is second.
On a cold winter day in December 1959, I was out hunting. Many of the farmers used electric fences to contain their livestock. I happened upon such a fence. I looked at that very thin strand of almost invisible wire. We used mostly #12 AWG to wire houses. Number 12 was at least three times larger than that fence wire. How much could it possibly hurt? I had touched 110 volts several times already. It shocked but not really that bad. "I'm brave," I thought "I've got to touch that wire to see if it will really hurt. Bet I won't even feel it."
So, I worked up my nerve, reached out and slapped the wire as fast as I could. Big mistake! How in the world could that many electrons flow out of that little bitty, tiny, small wire so fast? I regained my consciousness after what seemed like hours, but probably were only a couple of minutes. Not just my fingertips ached but my entire right arm all the way to my left knee. Needless to say, I learned all I needed to know. I soon learned there is a really thin line between brave and stupid.
When I was finally able to stand, I quickly looked around hoping no one was watching. Then, I tried to find the mule that had kicked me with both hind feet. I really expected that mule to be wearing a cape or taking steroids. No mule was to be found.
I finally worked up enough nerve to tell my dad what I had done. He got a really good laugh out of it. I still saw nothing funny about it. When he finally calmed down he told me the fence was DC (Direct Current), but what we worked with wiring houses was AC (Alternating Current). He also pointed out to me, electricity travels at the same speed as light which is 186,000 miles per second. He also observed I was probably wearing wet boots on wet soil, so I was more than adequately grounded.
Also, in 1959, we were wiring a new house. I was wiring in receptacles in a bathroom. Dad turned on the power, and I was once again introduced to 110 volt AC current. That was before GFI's so I got severely tickled. He just laughed and said, "Did that get your attention?" He did not intentionally try to electrocute me, I don't think, but he used the situation as a teachable moment.
Acts 17: 22-23 "Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars' hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too religious. For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you."
It appears the Athenians regarded God as I regarded the electric fence. They underestimated the power of the real God as I underestimated the power of the electrons in the fence. Many times we see the power of God and do not realize what we are seeing. Paul stated to the men of Athens, "I perceive you are religious." He did not start by insulting them, but by appealing to their intellect.
Paul then pointed out to them, that there is only one creator God. He is the maker of Heaven and Earth and was, from before the beginning. He is not found in temples or statues except in His omnipresence. Paul had a firsthand experience with Jesus on the Damascus Road. He bore a personal, absolute witness of this supernatural entity, the God Jesus. Paul documented Jesus as the reality of God revealing Himself to us.
Colossians 1:16-17 "For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist." God created the Heavens and the Earth and those trillions of electrons that flowed out of that fence into my arm. God is omnipotent and infinite beyond our understanding.
God, of course, is our ultimate source of power. We have a great strength from Him in our personal physical and mental power. Americans contain a power much of the world's population does not possess. That power is in our freedom. Our founding fathers chose to establish this nation as a democratic republic, often referred to as a constitutional republic. We have power and freedom due to the U. S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights. That freedom must never be relinquished to any adversary, foreign or domestic.
If any of our freedoms are taken, it will only be a matter of time until our enemies chip away at the rest. That great freedom of religion is a basis for all others. Our freedom to praise and worship the God of the Bible is first and foremost. When we lose that status of a Christian nation, the rest will soon fall because the power will be gone.
The electric fence contained a power I could not comprehend, but I sure felt it. We have seen the power of God: in the mountains and seas, in the Heavens, in healing and definitely in His sacrificial death on the cross and His subsequent resurrection. Salvation is by Him; and Him alone.