May 19, 2017: Handling the Spiritually Wild

Morning: Mark 2:13-22Noon: 2 Kin. 23:35-1 Chr. 1:28; Evening: Psa. 79

Of all living things, there may be nothing more terrifying for a human being than coming into contact with a dangerous wild animal. Sometimes the weather scares us, but normally we’re prepared and ready to respond. Sometimes other people scare us, but normally there is a certain code of conduct we trust in others so that we may confidently stroll by without fear. There are certain plants and domesticated animals we have to be on guard against, but so too it is with these that there is a certain preparedness and expectation that gives us a sense of security. But those wild animals! What little we can do to prepare, and how unexpected are there behavior!

The New Testament writer Mark is unique to point out that Jesus spent his forty days in the wilderness with the “wild beasts” (1:13). In the Greek language, therion, may have reference to any living creature of any kind besides human beings, but a special emphasis is given to those of a dangerous, venomous like nature. The venomous viper that clung to Paul’s hand on the island of Malta is one such example. You’ve probably had your own experiences with wild animals. The late Ira North, a well known preacher, in his autobiography described one of his earliest childhood memories that he could remember where he encountered a snake. Our encounters with wild beast are not easily forgotten. They are testy times one might say. The future is uncertain. The situation is hard to control.

But why is this significant? Why is this important for us to know that Jesus was with the wild beasts? Perhaps it is because we will and we do dwell among wild beasts of our own in the spiritual wilderness of the Christian walk. Paul said, “in the manner of men, I have fought with beasts at Ephesus,” and Peter spoke of deceivers in the church as “natural brute beasts made to be caught and destroyed” (1 Cor. 15; 2 Pet. 2). They are men who are predators of men. The worst of all wild beasts. They are in the church today, and they are a very real danger. Their behavior is unhinged, without direction or focus, and a purpose only to destroy. They move about instinctively by their cravings and lusts. Forty days and forty nights we shall spend with them, until the time of completion. Like Jesus we will have to endure. Like Paul we will have to fight. Like Peter we will have to realize the reality of their destructive ways, and give vengeance to the Lord. Hang in there Christian soldier. Your deliverance draws near.

Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him

[Matthew 4:11]

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