|Vol. 2, No. 3||Page 8||March 2000|
Would You Be a Zoo Animal?
There are zoos all over the world. In Africa, many of the zoos are actually very large wildlife parks with the animals roaming around free. But most zoos are smaller and have the animals in large pens, cages or glassed in areas.
The animals are in the zoo so that people can walk by and see all the different animals from all over the world. People will take pictures of them. Children will point at them and ask many questions. If the animals do strange or funny things, the people will laugh at them.
People have always been interested in zoos. During the time of the New Testament, people would gather in the large open-air theaters or the large coliseums to watch as animals were brought on stage. The animals would be made to do things to entertain the crowd.
It is interesting that the Hebrew Christians were reminded that Christians had been treated the same way as the animals. In Hebrews 10:32-33 we read,
“But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions; Partly whilst ye were made a gazingstock both by reproaches and afflictions; and partly, whilst ye became companions of them that were so used.”
The word “gazingstock” is a word that was used for showing and entertaining with the wild animals on stage. These Christians had been treated just like wild animals. They had been laughed at, pointed at and looked upon as strange creatures.
Would you be willing to be treated like that? These Christians had endured such bad treatment because they knew they were doing what was right. They truly believed that one day they would live with God in heaven. So, they did not care how badly they were treated.
The next time you think you are being treated badly, think about the Christians in the first century. Then, make up your mind that you will follow God and obey his teachings even if you will be treated like an animal in the zoo.
Our family travels from time to time. Sometimes we travel a long way from home. Other times we do not go so far. But, whenever we travel, we always look forward to finding a good place to stop for the night. We want to find a place where we will feel safe. And, we want a place where we can sleep well.
The best place to stop is at a family member’s house. It is always good to see family members that you have not seen in a while. And, you know they will have made good preparations for you to spend the night. Another very good place to rest is at a good friend’s house. A friend is glad to see you and will do everything he can to help you rest well.
In the spiritual realm, we have the best place to rest. In Psalm 25:12-13 we read,
“What man is he that feareth the Lord? him shall he teach in the way that he shall choose. His soul shall dwell at ease; and his seed shall inherit the earth.”
The word “dwell” comes from a word that means “to lodge for the night.” The person who fears God and obeys his word will always have a safe place to rest. God will take care of him spiritually. The person who fears God does not need to fear Satan. He will be able to rest well spiritually.
God is our Father. He is the best family member a person can have. And, God is our Friend. There is no better friend a person can have than God. Not only does God give us rest here on earth, but he is preparing Heaven for our final rest That rest will be forever. It will never end.
Many people go their whole lives without ever having rest in their spiritual life. I know you do not want to be one of those people. Study God’s Word and obey his commandments. Get God’s wisdom and you will get the rest he wants you to have.