My daughter Penny who lives in Georgia is visiting this week with her family, so I won’t be blogging a lot, but I do have some pictures to share and a short biblical story to think about. I have written before about my granddaughter Melissa and her husband Spencer who are now living on a mini farm while he works at a raw milk dairy. They now have, besides two kids (goats), a calf and many chickens, a baby pig. Here is a picture of one of my great granddaughters, Adele, with the pig:
My daughter Penny stopped at the mini farm for a day before heading to Sacramento. This morning she got up early and went out into the yard to look around. This is what she saw several feet away from her:
So not only rattlesnakes and camel spiders but also bobcats inhabit this small portion of rural California.
But Penny doesn't just take pictures of bobcats but of the beautiful birds of Georgia:
Interesting, God’s creatures, some full of beauty and some that cause great fear. Just today I read the story of the man of God from Judah that went into Israel to speak God’s judgment to king Jeroboam because he made false gods and allowed whoever wanted, to be a priest, rather than those who were Levites. (There is an animal in the story.)
The man of God was told not to stay and eat; he refused the king’s table, but he allowed another man, an old prophet to give him dinner, while he was still in the land of the ten tribes. He believed the lie of the old prophet rather than the words of God. (It is too often easier to see blatant evil but not evil hidden in what is supposed to be a godly life.
That is perhaps because we forget that it is only the goodness and righteousness of Jesus that counts for anything. It is only the power of the risen Lord that lifts God's people out of the chaos.
On his way home a lion killed the man of God. What is amazing is that when the old prophet heard of the man of God’s death he went looking for him, and the lion was still standing there, beside the man and his donkey. He hadn’t eaten the man nor his donkey. God’s judgment goes as far as he wants it to go and no further. This is a mysterious story but it certainly is enclosed in the providence and purposes of God.
Whether a rebellious king or a person of God we are all called to obedience but in the midst of God’s grace. The beauty of an eastern blue bird, the poison of a rattlesnake, the cunning of a bobcat, the strength of a lion, they all bow to the purposes of God and so must his people.
The text of chapter 13 of 1 Kings, after all of these events, says:
After this event Jeroboam did not return from his evil way, but again he made the priests of the high places from among all the people; any who would be ordained to be priests of the high places. The event became sin to the house of Jeroboam, even to blot it out and destroy it from off the face of the earth.
First picture by Spencer Tregilgas, the other two pictures by Penny Juncker
Update: I am told that the bobcat was eating a coyote and came back last night to finish.