Deacon William Brodie

Jun 13, 2016, 5:49 PM |

by HJS

William Brodie, the son of a Scottish cabinetmaker, was elected to public office in 1781. He was known as a deacon of Edinburgh - about the equivalent of city council in most cities today. By day, he was an upright and well-respected citizen. By night, however, he was a thief, gambler, and rascal of the first order, the prototype of Robert Louis Stevenson's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

Eventually his derelictions caught up with him, and Deacon Brodie was hanged on the very scaffold he had designed for the city of Edinburgh.

Long ago Moses wrote, "You may be sure that your sin will find you out" (Numbers 32:23). It may take a while, perhaps even a long while, but eventually the past catches up with you. A note, a handkerchief, a smudge on a glass, a fingerprint, a DNA printout, an automobile accident, a cell phone message, and suddenly the airtight alibi collapses. You are discovered for what you really are.

Even Paul admitted to something of Brodie's problem. Crying out in frustration, he wrote, "For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do - this I keep on doing" (Romans 7:19). Paul saw this as a battle between his own sinful nature, and the renewed nature indwelt by the Spirit of God.

While the world remembers unbelievers for their finest achievements, it remembers believers for their greatest failures. And should there be something of Deacon Brodie's spiritual schizophrenia in your life, better square it away with God and let Him know you want His help. It's time to live the same kind of life by day and by night.


But if you fail to do this, you will be sinning against the Lord; and you may be sure that your sin will find you out.  NUMBERS 32:23