Weekly Pastoral Message prepared by Rev. Murray Adamthwaite
for Sunday 28th June 1998
From the Pastor: Animal Lessons III
"Let a man meet a bear robbed of her cubs, rather than a fool in his folly." Proverbs 17:12|
Ferocious predators are largely unknown to us in Australia, at least
by direct experience in the wild. The closest we come to lions, leopards,
or bears is in a zoo, or perhaps a cicus. However, accross the lands of the
northern hemisphere the bear still roams; the land of Russia adopted it as
their national symbol, while in North America the ferocious "grizzly"
black bear predominates.
In Europe and Asia the bear normally encountered is the brown bear,
which is also still found in Syria, though unlike Bible times only in small
numbers. The Palestinian bear became extinct just before the Second World
War. The brown bear normally avoids man, but in the early spring, after
emerging from hibernation, it will venture into human territory to take
sheep (1 Samuel 17:34). At this time the mother will give birth to cubs,
usually about four, and is at her most aggresive, whether the cubs are still
in the cave, or following her about.
Encountering a bear at the best of times would be a frightening experience,
let alone when the bear is bad-tempered and aggressive; or worse, in full
fury having been robbed of her new-born cubs. Yet Solomon insists that a
fool obsessed with his foolish notions is much worse again! In Proverbs
a fool is one who has no fear of God, who scoffs at revelation, imagines
that he is master of his fate, falls for any temptation, and mocks at sin
(Proverbs 1:7; 1:22; 7:22; 14:9; 14:12). Have you ever thought that such
people (and the world is full of them) are worse than a raging bear?
Lord, give us wisdom to recieve humbly the wisdom from above