May 23, 2019
Volume 23, Number 20
Authorities in Florida had tracked the big lizard for over a year. A week ago they finally captured the water monitor, a five-foot-long reptile weighing about 20 pounds. A nonnative species from Asia, the wildlife agency had been “setting traps and searching high and low”. The search was urgent in order to “protect our precious native wildlife.”
There are many examples of species of plants and animals that have been introduced to America from other parts of the world. Throughout the South, kudzu is a serious problem. This vine, introduced in 1876 from Japan, will completely cover trees, fences, and buildings. Once established, it requires Herculean efforts to remove it. Other examples are Africanized (killer) bees, fire ants, snakehead fish, and Asian carp. These threaten the existence of other species that are native to their newfound regions.
A recent report by the U.S. Geological Service listed 11,344 different nonnative species in the U.S. alone. Some have a minimal impact on their surroundings, but others (such as the emerald ash borer – a beetle) have destructive effects on other species. In their native habitats, these species are controlled by predators, but there may be none in their new areas.
The Bible tells us that some things in our lives are perfectly legitimate in their natural realm. When “imported” into other realms, however, they can be destructive.
Hebrews 13:4 is one example: “Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.” The marriage “bed” refers to sex; in its natural realm of marriage between a man and a woman, it is “undefiled”. But when sex is imported into other relationships it becomes toxic. God will judge all offenders.
Money is another example. Paul urged those who once stole to now work honestly “that he may have something to give him who has need” (Ephesians 4:28). Money is necessary in almost all situations in life; it enables us to have the necessities of life. But when elevated to a position of mastery, tragedy results: “For the love of money is a root of all kings of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows” (1 Timothy 6:10).
“To everything there is a season,” the Preacher taught in Ecclesiastes 3:1. God has arranged things in this world and in our lives in the ways that are best for us. But when we begin rearranging what He has designed, bad things result.
Wisdom is given a voice in Proverbs 8; ponder her plea in verse 35: “For whoever finds me finds life, and obtains favor from the Lord.” Let us carefully seek the wisdom of God, and resist rearranging what He has put in place. (See also Isaiah 5:20,21.)
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.
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Copyright, 2019, 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.
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