But among the Israelites not a dog will bark at any person or animal.’ Then you will know that the Lord makes a distinction between Egypt and Israel.
- Exodus 11:7
“Against whom has the king of Israel come out? Who are you pursuing? A dead dog? A flea? May the Lord be our judge and decide between us. May he consider my cause and uphold it; may he vindicate me by delivering me from your hand.”
- 1 Samuel 24:14-15
“There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.
- Luke 16:19-21
Have you ever noticed that when you run with a dog, not on a leash, they like running a half-step behind? They want their master to take the lead. Or maybe that is just the breeds I grew up with.
I had a dog in my high school years that was different. At the end of my junior year of high school, the track coach told me to run every day all summer. He wanted me in shape to run the mile. I suppose that my dog did too.
Each day, I would run from the garage, that my Dad and I had built the previous summer, past my grandparents home and then to a Baptist church another mile down the road. Big Red would be right by my side, keeping pace with me. I might turn around before the church, and he didn’t want to miss anything.
But once we turned around, he knew where we were going. He took the lead. He could have easily disappeared in front of me, but he simply ran fast enough that he was a yard or two yards in front of me. He would occasionally turn his head to wonder if I had anything left in the tank. I would speed up to get even with him. Then after maybe 30 seconds of side-by-side racing, he would speed up again, getting a couple of yards in front and then turning his head around to see what I would do. I was already going faster than I felt comfortable with running, for such a distance, but I would speed up to match his speed. By the end of our race, back at the garage, his game had gotten me into a full sprint.
At any point, he could have run a lot faster and left me sitting there, but he knew that he would get to wrestle with me in the grass. I had no doggie treats. He just wanted to run and have fun.
God is like both types of dogs, those that follow and like Big Red, one that goes out before us. God goes out before us so that His sovereign plan is carried out, so that what we need will be there when we get there.
But God follows us closely. He jumps in like a helicopter mom on occasion, but God is really there to wait patiently, that long-suffering thing. He loves us. God wants us to realize our mistakes, and as soon as we repent (often described as turning around and running away from sin), He is there to throw His arms around us as say, “Welcome back.”
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.