“Bite the Hand”

Once upon a time the parents of a young boy gave him a small puppy as a birthday gift hoping that he would learn responsibility and form a loving bond with his new pet.  The boy was ready to pet him, feed him, clean up after him, to take him on long walks and try to teach him tricks. However, as the boy and the puppy matured, things began to change.  Once in a while the young dog would growl at the boy as he tried to pet and feed him.  Soon the dog would nip at the boy’s hand even as he filled the dog’s food bowl.  Once or twice he actually bit him hard enough to cause bleeding.  Both the boy and his parents were astonished, disappointed and finally angered by this ungrateful behavior.  The family had several options— pen the dog up at all times, take him to a shelter or hire a dog trainer.  Perhaps you have a better option, but very probably the once loving bond would forever be broken.

Although this modern-day parable might tug at your heartstrings, its spiritual application should absolutely break all but the most hard heart. Mankind was created in the image of the Godhead (Gen 1:26) and surely this means that we share similar emotions. Imagine the emotions of God as He watches His lovingly created beings abandon and reject all His provision, care and protection for an evil lie (Gen 3: 6, 11, 12).  Adam and Eve (and all humanity afterwards) figuratively “bit the hand that fed them.”

The Godhead also had several options at that point. They could have overlooked the sin, they could have destroyed the couple, they could have started all over again with two new beings or they could have abandoned the plan entirely. But God, somewhat like the young boy in the parable, wanted to restore mankind to the original relationship. He liberated His chosen people from slavery (Ex 15:30-31) He fed them for 40 years in the wilderness (Ex 16: 35) He defeated their enemies (Ex 17: 8-13) and gave them a Law (Ex 20-40) that would allow them to approach God in a limited way (Heb 10:4).

The terrible curse of sin was that it separated mankind from God whose pure nature does not permit Him to coexist with sin.  Sin still remained and prevented the beautiful relationship that once existed (Is 59:2) (Eze 18:4).  There was no total forgiveness of sins, only the yearly blood offering of the High Priest to roll back the sins (Heb 9: 22).  Mankind kept on “biting the hand that fed them.” (Rom 3:23) until just at the right time Jesus Christ offered His own pure and sinless blood as an innocent and one time sacrifice for sins (Gal 4:4) (Eph 1:7) (Heb 9:26) (Jo 3:16).

Although the fate of the puppy in the parable will never be known, our rehabilitation by the blood of Christ now allows us to approach the throne of God with full assurance of faith (Heb 10: 19-22) and ultimately feel God wipe away every tear from our eyes (Rev 21: 3-4).

–Jim Bailey