When a loving heart manifests as growling teeth

Hebrews 6 describes some people who have come so far in their faith, but in the end reject God. Verse 6 has a strongly worded warning: “To their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.” It is as if they are figuratively aligning themselves with the enemies of God.

That can seem harsh. We can sometimes cringe at these passages. But there are times when a loving heart manifests as growling teeth. Let me explain. 

In Little House in the Big Woods, a pioneer family recalls a time when the father was off on a hunting trip. The mother, Eliza, was home at the cabin with the children and their dog, Prince.

She started down a path to the spring for some water. But the dog got agitated. He snapped at her dress, trying to pull her backward. The mom persisted forward, so the dog jumped out in front of her, blocking her way, growling with his teeth. He wouldn’t let her by. This was not normal behaviour for the family dog.

He forced her to retreat back into the cabin. When inside, Prince wouldn’t let her or the children leave.

Later they figured out what was going on. They discovered huge panther tracks down by the spring. He had been hiding in an oak tree above the spring, preparing to pounce down on his victims! The dog must have sensed the danger and did everything it could to save Eliza. The dog wasn’t being harsh, it was being loving. It saved their lives!*

So it is with biblical warnings that seem harsh. There are times when a loving heart manifests as growling teeth.

Are you playing the part? Will you ultimately reject Jesus? Or will you stand by him?

“To their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.”

Brothers and sisters, there are times when a loving heart manifests as growling teeth.

Let us be attentive, wise, and be found faithful.


Notes:

–The Up Devotional is published 5 days a week (Monday-Friday) and returns on November 1.

–*Laura Ingalls Wilder, Little House in the Big Woods (Avon: New York, 2003), 44-48.

–Bible quotes are from the NIV.

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