Monday, January 30, 2017

"A Dog's Life"

Exodus 21.5-6 NIV

“But if the servant declares, ‘I love my master and my wife and children and do not want to go free,’ then his master must take him before the judges. He shall take him to the door or the doorpost and pierce his ear with an awl. Then he will be his servant for life.”

I have a single friend who compares marriage and family life to the plight of a domesticated dog. He thinks of himself as a wolf, free to roam the woods, chase game, and be accountable to no one. He feels pity for his canine friends who are chained to their master’s house and confined to a fenced yard. He takes great pride in his freedom. No leash for my friend. He’s wild and free and proud of it.

Actually, he’s lonely, cold, and hungry. He doesn’t even know what he’s missing. I imagine he looks down from the mountainside on cold wintry nights and yearns to curl up in front of the fire at the feet of the master. With the leash comes the good life… the security of regular food, a warm home, companionship, and love. 

Not every master is a good one and not every marriage was made in heaven. There are certainly times when freedom is better than servitude, and the single life than marital disharmony. “A quarrelsome wife [or husband] is like a constant dripping on a rainy day” (Proverbs 27.15a). However if your master is Jesus, you’d be a fool to “want to go free.” Let Him nail your ear to the door and become His “servant for life.”

Nearly 2,000 years ago, in an eternal act of selfless role-reversal, your owner willingly laid his body on the wooden frame of a cross. He “was pierced for our transgressions” and “crushed for our iniquities” (Isaiah 53.5 NIV). He voluntarily gave up His freedom for you and me. Christ “did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45 NKJV). Jesus proved His love by becoming the servant of the humanity He created. He earned the right to own me. He bought me with His blood. Yet, the choice remains mine. I can be a wolf or a dog. A man of God who trusts his Master and loves his family will gladly follow the example of Jesus and forsake his personal liberties.

The life of a wolf may seem glamorous and sexy. But a leash in the hands of a trustworthy master is the good life. I’ll take a dog’s life.


"Eyes of the Medicine Wolf" is a painting by Native American wildlife artist, Marguerite Fields who seeks to "capture images of a land that once was," and was first posted on my blog years ago with the artist's gracious permission. Sadly, Ms. Fields passed away in May 2013. 


Anonymous said...

Thanks Dave. Here's my journal entry for Monday. (All biblical quotes taken from Exodus, chapter 20)

1) "You shall have no other gods before me."

The good news is I don't. The bad news is that there are times when other things are more important to me than my relationship to Jesus.

2) "You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above, or on earth beneath or in the waters below."

Same good news and bad news as in commnadment # 1.

3) "You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God."

As a general rule I don't, but there are times when I probably use the name of God too casually. I need to remember that the very name itself is sacred and should be treated as such.

4) "Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy."

The Lord has really spoken to me on this one over the past year. This commandment is rarely obeyed in our culture, becauswe quite honestly, our culture doesn't view rest and rejuvenation as particularly valuable. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

5) "Honor your Father and your Mother."

This is a tough one. My dad passerd away in 1969, my step-dad in 1987 and my mom in 1995. What's done is done, for good or for bad. But I do make every effort to love and honor Carol's parents. They have been a trememdous blessing for both of us.

6) "You shall not murder."

Billy Chrystal: "Hey Curly, have you killed anyone today?"

Curly: "Day ain't over yet."
(can not confirm word for word accuracy of quote, but you get the point.)

---From the movie: City Slickers

OK, So far, so good for me. But I need to be especially mindful that each day is another opportunity to live without anger toward my brother.

7) "You shall not commit adultery."

In the flesh? innocent.
In the mind? guilty as charged.

8) "You shall not steal."

Again, so far so good, but the opportunity is always there in many subtle ways. So I must be forever mindful.

9) "You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor."

Innocent based on a literal interpretation of this commandment. But is absolutely everything that comes out of my mouth the truth" Alas, I am but a work in progress.

10) "You shall not covet your neighbor's (stuff)."

Please refer to response on commandment # 7.

Faithfully and anonymously submitted on this 30th day of January, 2007.


One Sided said...

That whole wild or domesticated image has sparked a lot of thought.
That wild side, to take care of number one above all else. Against the domesticated side of possibly defending others abolve all else.
This past week, I spent in the hospital at the side of by wife of 37 years. She had blood clots in both lungs. I wonder if it was the domesticated lap dog that stayed by her side in prayer or the alpha wolf that mates for life who could not be moved away from her bedside. Your friend should study the wold a bit more he may have selected a role model he can not follow.

Dave's Bible Blog said...

Hi One Sided,

Please keep me posted on the condition of your wife. I will be praying for her (and you) for strength and courage and faith. Thank you so much for sharing with me.

I agree with you about my friend and his role model of the wolf. He will have a hard time measuring up to any role model without Jesus.

On another note... I showed your picture to my kids and wife. They loved it... You're a dead ringer for St. Nick!


Dave's Bible Blog said...


Great personal interpretation and application of the ten commandments. Thank you for sharing with me.