Thoughts on the Gospel by David Joy

APRIL 2015 No 219
‘The beasts go into their dens,’ Job Ch 37 v 8.

Foxes at Dawn
As I wrote this, it was raining outside and the skies, despite a glorious sunrise whose rays set the dark clouds on fire, were now dark and leaden. I was glad to be sitting in my office, listening to the rain falling on the roof above me.  I was reminded of a day in the past, when out early to photograph the sun rising, rain had begun to fall and I had taken shelter under a large tree. Standing there, listening to the rain pattering on the leafy umbrella above me, I spotted three young foxes silently making their way across a nearby field.  I had seen them before and I knew they were heading home to their den. They had probably been out all night and their natural instinct was taking them home, to a place of rest and safety.

Wandering Thoughts
I found myself wondering if, during their busy night excursions, the foxes ever thought of their den. Or were they so busy hunting the thought never entered their minds?  I am afraid that quite often, when taken up with ‘the cares of this world,’ Mark 4 v 19, my thoughts are dragged away from heavenly things and I lose sight of the peace and blessings that flow from Jesus.  May we each day, be able to say that dependence upon the Lord as we ‘sat down under His shade,’ Solomon Song 2 v 3, has provided a continual ‘resting place,’ Isaiah 32 v 18, for us.

Gone in a Moment
As I stood quietly watching the young foxes wandering in my direction, one of them stopped, sniffing the air. In a moment they had spotted me and were gone, disappearing into the dense bushes that surrounded the field. How easily they had been frightened away. And how quickly they had gone!  And how quickly we too can find all sense of God’s comforting and supporting presence gone from us ‘like a roe or a young hart,’ Solomon’s Song 2 v 9, for the Holy Spirit can be so easily grieved and frightened away by our actions.

As I had been watching the foxes, they had seemed unconcerned about their surroundings and had showed no awareness of possible danger.  Yet, despite their lackadaisical demeanour they had clearly been vigilant and aware that danger could threaten at any time.  Are we aware of the danger of Satan’s ‘devices,’ 2 Corinthians 2 v 11, and of how he is able to enter our minds and twist the scriptures? Do we recognise His ‘fiery darts,’ Ephesians 6 v 16, when he places Christ dishonouring thoughts in our thoughts?

Are we vigilant like the foxes and clothed in the ‘whole armour of God ........ able to stand against the wiles of the devil?,’ Ephesians 6 v 11. May we be constantly on our guard for our ‘adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour,’ 2 Peter 5 v 7.

At the Days End
Friends, we have of necessity to live in and be involved in the world around us. We sometimes become so involved, however, that for a time we may wander away from Jesus. We may even find that we have gone a whole day without praying to God or considering that Jesus is the source of ‘our peace,’ Ephesians 2 v 14.  But, at the end of the day, when our labour, turmoil, stress and distraction have ended, where do our thoughts lead us?

Do they, like the homeward bound foxes, lead us to our resting place as they take us on prayer’s wings to Jesus? Do they, as the day ends and our heads rest on our pillows, find them bringing us into the haven of scriptures’ soothing, hope giving and comforting words? Do we spend the night, safe, secure and at peace ‘lying on Jesus’ breast?’ John 13 v 25.

Forever a Friend
Dear readers, Jesus is not just a friend to consult as a last resort when all else fails. He is as a star that always shines; a well that never runs dry; a fountain that never ceases. He is always there for those who have been redeemed with His own ‘precious blood,’ 1 Peter 1 v 19.

May you each night rest under the shadow of His wings (Psalm 16 v 8); may His name be on your lips when you awake; and during each day ‘in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus’, Philippians 4 v 6.