Wednesday, May 29, 2019

"The 5-Second Rule"

2nd Kings 24.3-4 NET Bible
Cartoon by Mike Bannon (c) 2006
“Just as the Lord had announced, He rejected Judah because of all the sins which Manasseh had committed. Because he killed innocent people and stained Jerusalem with their blood, the Lord was unwilling to forgive them.”

The “5-Second Rule” claims that food dropped on the floor will be safe to eat if picked up within five seconds. Is it true? Not according to calling it contemporary folk wisdom, an urban legend. In a July 4th, 2006 CBS New report entitled “The ‘5-Second Rule’ – Fact or Fiction?” readers were informed “existing pathogens will transfer” to dropped foods in under five seconds. Common sense appears to validate this warning.

More recently, however, two biology majors at Connecticut College in New London conducted an experiment with apple slices and Skittles candies on the college dining hall floor at 5-, 10-, 30-, and 60-second intervals. They found that the apple slices did not pick up bacteria until after one minute. It actually took Skittles 5 minutes or more floor time to become inedible.[1] In this latest, Connecticut College study, bad germs took time to adhere to the surface of even wet foods. This is encouraging to me since many times I have quickly consumed yummy foods dropped to the floor while invoking the “5-second rule.”

God is patient with the human race.

“The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering,
and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands,
forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin…”
Exodus 34.6-7 NKJV

“The Lord is… patient toward you, not wishing for any
to perish but for all to come to repentance.”
2nd Peter 3:9 NASU

I Love the Five Second Rule! by Brian HughesApparently there is a long period of time before the dirt of my sins keep God from picking me up off the floor. However, there is an endpoint. Because Manasseh “killed innocent people... the Lord was unwilling to forgive.” Divine un-forgiveness is an un-common occurrence in the scriptures, but it happens. Thankfully, the Lord is “patient,” “merciful and gracious,” “longsuffering,” and “forgiving.” But there appears to be a limit to His willingness to overlook sin. Like the apple slices on the floor, there is a point beyond which a person is so infected with the bacteria of sin he must be permanently discarded. Jesus called it “blasphemy against the Spirit”…

“Therefore I say to you, any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven people,
but blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven.”
Matthew 12.31 NASU

The author of Hebrews agreed.

“For in the case of those who have once been enlightened...
and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance,
since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame.
Hebrews 6.4-6 NASU

I sometimes drop my Christian character and I fall to the floor. It’s good to know that the blood of Jesus covers my sin. I have some time, maybe even a long time, to pick myself back up again and fully experience God’s restoration and forgiveness. But I better not wait too long.

An intelligent person may pick up and consume a fallen apple slice in well under a minute or, better yet, adhere to the “5-second rule.” An even smarter individual will try not to drop the apple slices at all.

[1] The Oregonian, Science section, “Five-second rule really more like 30”, May 23, 2007. 

The funny cartoon above featuring chickens and the "5-second rule" was created by illustrator and cartoonist Mike Bannon and used here by permission. You can see his work at

The creative Cheez-It crakers photo is called " 083/365 - I Love the Five Second Rule! (Explored!)" is used with permission of North Carolina photographer Brian Hughes whose work you can view at


Anonymous said...

Hello Dave, My mother always said that one must eat a pound of dirt before they die. I am not sure that it applies in this instance; however, I cannot help but see the certain patterns happening over and over again as we read throughout these scriptures. It seems that for every king that ruled and had God's favor or was like His servant, David, the ones following that blessed ruler, so many followed that did not serve the one and only Holy one. It seems so sad that "power" go to one's head so quickly and the Lord's way is quickly forgotten. I can't imagine God's ever-flowing tears for the iniquities of mankind and how easily mankind forgets the bounties bestowed upon unworthy ones, such as myself. I hope one day to find myself worthy in God's eyes.

In God's Holy Name,
Respectfully submitted
RoseMarie Salehi

Dave's Bible Blog said...

Hi Rose,

That was a very insightful comment. Thank you. Rose, you may never be worthy of Christ's love. But you are certainly worthwhile. Because He is worthy, Jesus considers you and me worth the price He paid for our salvation. He loves us and He proved that love by dying on the cross for your sins and mine. Apparently, in God's eyes, you and I are worthwhile and worth every drop of blood He shed for us. Wow! Isn't that amazing?!!

Thank you for being such a wonderful and faitful supporter of the WT class. We will be friends for life.


One Sided said...

I had some comment in my head up until I read RoseMarie's entry. Now I can only think of a lesson some years back when my teacher told me that God can not look upon sin which is the darkness in our life. Jesus is the light of the world and He defeated the darkness. And that God looks at us through the light of His Son and sees only the transformed not the transgression.

Dave's Bible Blog said...

Amen, One-Sided!


JOV said...

All I can say is Amen to that post! Thanks for another great article Dave!