Franklin’s Stove
Bob Chilton | March 4th, 2008

We are all familiar with cold weather and the demands it puts upon us in so many ways. But, if you had lived in the mid-eighteenth century, the only way to heat your home was with a fireplace. They were not very efficient. Most of the heat escaped up the chimney or through the walls, because in most homes the only place for a fireplace was an outside wall.

But a great American recognized this problem and invented a means to heat a mid-1700’s home. A free-standing stove was devised to be set in the middle of the room in order for the heat to radiate from all around the stove into the room. The stove took its name from its brilliant inventor – Benjamin Franklin. The “Franklin” Stove would become famous throughout the world as one of his greatest ideas.

But there was one little problem with Ben’s invention……it didn’t work!

As brilliant as Mr. Franklin was, he somehow missed the point that heat and smoke RISE! A simple scientific fact that this expert scientist either ignored or overlooked. Oxygen to feed the fire must enter at the bottom, and since heat and smoke rise, the chimney or flue needed to be at the top of the stove. Franklin designed the chimney to connect at the base of the stove and the fire would not remain lit but for a short time and then go out. Another man, by the name of David Rittenhouse, saw the problem and made the stove practical and popular by connecting the chimney above the fire!

We have many brilliant people in the religious and educational world today. They have lots of seemingly wonderful ideas to help us ‘believe the truth’. They wish to help each of us ‘heat up our spiritual homes’. The problem is, just like Franklin, they fail to remember God’s law & order.

Heat and smoke rise according to the ‘laws of physical science’, which were put into place by the Creator. God’s law is always consistent and must be considered in ALL things, whether scientific, social, or spiritual…or else it will be like Franklin’s design and won’t work.

Regardless of how great the plan, or how solid the conviction, if all the pieces are not there it will eventually fail. In spite of all these brilliant people, with their learned insight, if their ideas don’t follow God’s plan, spiritual houses will grow cold for those who choose to try to “fire” them up with the laws and ideas of man.

If we choose to “heat our spiritual home” with the “fire” of God’s word, we will not only heat our “house”, but we will radiate throughout all our surroundings. Just as Rittenhouse did with Franklin’s stove, we will make God’s will practical, functional, and central in keeping out a cold, cold, world…. for “all who have ears”.

1 Cor 1:18-19…For the word of the cross is to those who are perishing foolishness, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written, "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the cleverness of the clever I will set aside."