Haste, Post, Haste!
Not many people who use the word "post-haste" realize that the word goes back to the time of Henry VIII. During the reign of "bluff King Hal," postmasters and relays of horses for carrying messages were established at the principal towns in England. The postmasters endorsed each letter with the exact time each missive was delivered to them. The messengers were sometimes rather irresponsible people who delayed to play games with acquaintances in inns or to waste time in some other way. On this account a very drastic law was put into effect - every dispatch carrier should "ride for his life"; this had a literal meaning, for the penalty for delaying en route was hanging. Letters of the sixteenth century were often ornamented with a drawing of a dispatch carrier suspended from the gallows; beneath the figure was the admonition, "Haste, post, haste! Haste for thy life."
This law held good for many years, and there were numerous hangings. Gradually opinion changed, and the penalty for delay was lessened; hanging was only for those messengers who were bribed or coerced into allowing someone else to read a dispatch. Later, a still lesser punishment was adopted: imprisonment for a short time, or a period of confinement in the stocks or pillory. Not until the nineteenth century was simple dismissal applied in such cases; but the old expression "post-haste" still lingers with us.
So our King has given us a message that must be delivered to all men. The King's business requires haste (I SAMUEL 21:8). Let us be out with it. "Go ye into all the world." He has said, and to those who go, He has added, "… and lo! I am with you ... " (MATTHEW 28:20). There is no death penalty, but there is a reward for obedient servants and for those who do not obey, even though they be saved, there is "the terror of the Lord . . ." (II CORINTHIANS 5:11).
- What message are you proclaiming? Is it the same message that the king has handed to us?
- In scripture there is a lot of reference to false teachers and disobedient servants, what are the penalties for false messengers?
- Where is the destination for the message being sent?