April 19, 2018
Volume 22, Number 15
Did you hear about the tiger roaming the streets of Manhattan last Thursday? The report was called in to the New York City Police Department, and officers were dispatched to check it out. They did indeed find a wild animal in the area, but it was a raccoon, not a tiger.
I’m trying not to laugh, because I was once guilty of such an exaggerated report. While spending a few days in the Smoky Mountain area, I saw a large furry animal ambling up the road toward the cabin in which we were staying. I ran to wake up the family so they could get an close-up glimpse at this black bear. After returning to my post I discovered it was a large collie. My kids have had many laughs over that sighting!
What about that person who notified police about the “tiger” on the loose? Did they really not know the difference between a raccoon and a tiger? Were they playing a joke on authorities? The news reports don’t give any detail on who initially filed the report.
Here’s a third possibility about the one who notified authorities: Maybe they were just lazy. Proverbs 22:13 speaks of such a situation: “The lazy man says, ‘There is a lion outside! I shall be slain in the streets!’” Instead of reporting for work, he decided to make up a story that would make him seem prudent for not getting out.
Raccoons can be dangerous; they are armed with sharp claws and teeth and know how to use them when cornered. They also are notorious for being carriers of rabies. Still, I don’t fear raccoons the way I would fear a tiger, or a lion.
Peter used the image of a lion to stress the caution we must use against Satan: “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary, the devil, walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). Some have taken that warning to the extreme, and regard Satan as a foe without equal. Who has any chance trying to oppose him?!
And yet Peter went on to say this: “Resist him, steadfast in the faith …” (1 Peter 5:9). James also gives encouraging news about our battle with the devil: “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (James 4:7).
Make no mistake, Satan is a very dangerous being. Jesus revealed this about him: “… He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it” (John 8:44).
Be wary of the devil: he wants to ruin you. But you can overcome him with God’s help!
Come to the light God offers! Study His word, the Bible. Worship Him in spirit and truth (John 4:24). Get in touch with us if you’d like to discuss these ideas further.
Copyright, 2018, Timothy D. Hall. All scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from the New King James Version (Copyright, 1990, Thomas Nelson, Inc.).
“LightGrams” is produced by the Central Church of Christ, 2722 Oakland Avenue, Johnson City, Tennessee, 37601, and is written by Tim Hall, minister. It is sent free of charge every Thursday to all who request it. To subscribe or to receive more information, write to “Tim@GraceMine.org” (our E-mail address), to the U.S. mail address above, or call (423) 282-1571.
Permission to reproduce and/or use the messages for noncommercial purposes is freely granted provided the messages are not altered.