For dogs have surrounded me; A band of evildoers has encompassed me; They pierced my hands and my feePsalm 22:16
Rebellion against God...we are all guilty, unfortunately. Here God compares it to dogs.
Rebellion on its own is bad enough. It makes one yip, and snarl at passersby. It cries out words like "unfair," "mine," "I want," and all those other self-pitying words that go hand in hand with rebellion.
As it grows, we begin to bark and howl against anything that gets in our way. And the dogs are greedy, they are not satisfied And they are shepherds
who have no understanding; They have all turned to their own way, Each
one to his unjust gain, to the last one. Isaiah 56:11 We begin to believe that if we bark loudly enough, we will instill fear into others and they will allow us to have our way.
The one thing we fail to take notice of is the leash. You see, our lives are on a leash (so to speak) and God is holding the other end. We have free reign to go wherever we want as far as the leash allows. When we are walking close to Him, our desire will be to remain close to His side and we are grateful for the safety the leash represents. But when rebellion sets in and we see something we think we have to have, be it a tangible or an intangible, we jump forward and start straining against the chain. God is not going to let go of the other end. We are His creation and He will allow us free reign to a point, but He decides where the leash ends. The problem that ensues is that the further we get away from Him, the more we strain against the leash, pulling, struggling, barking, "I want, I want, I want!" God will speak words to calm us, reach out to pet us, call our name!! But if we choose to turn a deaf ear because we want what we want, we will continue to strain. We make ourselves sick with the straining. We choke, which may cause us to let up a bit then strain again. We choke to the point of vomiting. God will remind us to stop making ourselves sick. Like a dog that returns to its vomit Is a fool who repeats his folly. Proverbs 26:11
We may let up a bit then strain again. If we continue to refuse God's voice, we may eventually choke ourselves to death.
Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers, beware of the false circumcision; Philippians 3:2
Rebellion is all around us, seeking a way to deceive and draw us away from the Good Shepherd. If it can get us drawn away, we will stop herding in sheep and begin to strain against the chain, which is simply His perfect will for our lives, and instead chase sheep away. It is our choice, so pray for wisdom, discernment and determination to remain close to His side.
Lord, may we ever stay close to your side as those who herd sheep rather than become those who chase them away in fear. May our love for You become so great as to make all else seem trivial in comparison.