Thursday, February 15, 2018

Chinese New Year 2018, Friday, 16-02-18

Numbers 6:22-27 / James 4:13-15 / Matthew 6:31-34

In the Chinese zodiac, today begins the Year of the Dog. Since it is the Year of the Dog, let's see what the Bible has to say about dogs

Dogs are frequently mentioned both in the Old and New Testaments. Dogs were used by the Hebrews as a watch for their houses (Isaiah 56:10), and for guarding their flocks ( Job 30:1 ). There were also then as there are now, troops of semi-wild and wild dogs that wander about devouring dead animals and bodies and which can be quite fierce.

In the gospel passage about the exchange between Jesus and the Canaanite woman, the word "dogs" are used.

In response to her pleas to drive off the devil from her daughter, He answered and said, "It is not good to take the children's bread and throw it to the dogs." (Mt 15:26) In this instance Jesus was referring to the wild dogs.

But the woman replied, "Yes, Lord; but even the dogs feed on the crumbs which fall from their masters' table." (Mt 15:27) Her reference was to the domesticated dogs or the pet dogs. And with that Jesus granted her wish.

It is certainly with great humility to be referred to as pet dogs. But pet dogs usually have qualities like:
1. Loyalty – a dog is naturally born with a sense of loyalty for it’s owner, and each dog displays this loyalty in its own unique way.

2. Compassion – no matter how sad or upset you are, a dog always knows to give you love and comfort.

3. Unconditional love – a dog loves with no strings attached.

4. Selflessness – a dog's first focus is to provide you with it’s joy and spirit, it is not naturally vain or selfish, if you show it love and kindness, he is your ultimate selfless companion.

5. Forgiveness – us humans have a hard time forgiving each other, we hold on to things forever, but not a dog. He will forgive you for anything you do to him (to a fault sometimes).

6. Non-judgmental – a dog does not judge, it may have reservations because it sense something is wrong, but it does not judge us like humans judge each other. A dog can sense your true nature and spirit, thus it loves you for who you are inside and out.

Come to think of it, we are much more than dogs, and much more are we in the eyes of God.

Yet the humble dog can show us something of who we truly are. Of course we are not called to be like a dog, on the contrary, we are called to be like God.

And for that we need His blessings. And certainly the Lord God will bless us and keep us, and let His face shine on us and be gracious to us and bring us peace.

And later we will also bless the oranges so that we can indeed taste and see the goodness and the sweetness of the Lord.

And may we in turn be always be a blessing to our family, to our relatives, to our friends, to our colleagues.

And if we have one, then may we also be a blessing to our dogs and to all that God has created.