The faithful dog

503 the faithful dogDogs are amazing animals. With their fine sense of smell, they track down survivors in collapsed buildings, find drugs and weapons during police investigations, and some say they can even detect tumors in the human body. There are dogs that can detect the smell of endangered orca whales living on the northwestern coast of the USA. Dogs not only support people through their sense of smell, they also bring comfort or serve as guide dogs.

However, dogs have a bad name in the Bible. Let's face it, they just have some disgusting habits. When I was a little boy I had a dog as a pet and he licked everything that had come up just before, as well as a gate that takes pleasure from his own stupid words. "As a dog eats what he has been spitting, so is the gate that drives its folly over and over again" (Spr 26, 11).

Of course, Salomo does not see things from the dog's point of view, and I believe that none of us can. Is it a primeval return to the days when the dog's mother raised her own food to give it to the young puppy, as it does today with African wild dogs? Even some birds do this. Is it just an attempt to digest the undigested food again? I have recently read of an expensive restaurant where the meal is pre-chewed.

From the point of view of Solomon this dog behavior seems repulsive. It reminds him of foolish people. A gate says in his or her heart, "It's not a god." (Ps 53, 2). A gate denies the primacy of God in his or her life. Foolish people always return to their own way of thinking and living. They repeat the same mistakes. A goal is deceived in his thinking if he believes that the decisions made without God are reasonable. Peter said that anyone who rejects the grace of God and returns to a life that is not guided by the Spirit is like a dog who eats what he has spit (2, Petr 2,22).

So how do we break this vicious circle? The answer is: Do not go back to the vomit. No matter what sinful lifestyle we indulge in, let us not return there. Do not repeat the old sin patterns. Sometimes, dogs can be tormented by bad habits, but foolish people remain stubborn and do not listen to them when admonished. Let us not be like a gate that despises wisdom and discipline (Spr 1,7). Let us be tested by the mind and change forever, so that we no longer have the need to return to the familiar. Paul told the Colossians to abandon their old ways of behaving: "So the members who are on earth are killing fornication, impurity, shameful passion, evil desires, and the greed that is idolatry. For such things comes the wrath of God over the children of disobedience. In that, too, you were once transformed when you still lived in it. But now abandon everything: wrath, wrath, malice, blasphemy, shameful words from your mouth "(Kol 3, 5-8). Luckily we can learn something from the dogs. The dog of my childhood always ran after me - in good times as well as in bad times. He let me educate and guide him. Even if we are not dogs, could not that be insightful for us? Let us follow Jesus no matter where He leads us. Be guided by Jesus, just as a faithful dog is led by his loving owner. Be faithful to Jesus.

by James Henderson

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