|Tract2: Un-Faithful As A Dog? (Year Of The Dog)
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Dogs are known as man’s best friends. They have been valued for as long as man can remember. They are a joy to children, a comfort to the lonely, and a companion and helper to the blind. They pull sledges for the Eskimos, guard sheep for farmers, sniff out smuggled drugs for customs officers, and search for people buried under collapsed buildings. They guard homes and factories, track down escaping criminals, run races, and hunt foxes and wild boars. Dogs are known for their intelligence, bravery and tenacity. The chief and most appreciated characteristic of dogs is faithfulness to their masters.
Our unfaithful character
Faithfulness is highly valued in human relationships but extremely hard to find. Unfaithfulness has marred politics, business partnerships, friendships, and marriages. Victims of unfaithfulness often are traumatised to the extent of having difficulty trusting anyone afterwards. Healing and forgiveness may take place later, but the relationship will be permanently scarred. Much as we value faithfulness, we are ourselves unfaithful to various degrees all the time. A politician who changes his political allegiance is outrightly unfaithful, yet his behaviour is regarded as acceptable by people at large. A businessman who cheats his business partner may think that is acceptable practice in the business world. A husband who resolves to be faithful to his wife is often tempted to become unfaithful, and will fall into sin if he is not careful.
Human beings have been unfaithful to their Creator since the beginning of human history. When Adam and Eve were created, they enjoyed perfect friendship with God. That blessed relationship was broken when Adam disobeyed God and broke His commandment. As the representative head of the human race, he brought guilt upon all of us. As the progenitor of the human race, he passed down to us his sinful nature. It is no wonder that people all over the world are inclined to sin, and characterised by unfaithfulness!
Effects of sin
Sin brings pain, decay and death. Sin causes separation between man and God. When the full fury of God’s wrath falls upon us, we will face eternal damnation. We are unable to save ourselves, for there is no power within us to rise above what we are by nature. Iron cannot change itself into gold. Even a faithful dog cannot change itself to be other than a dog. Dogs - especially the stray ones - are known to have bitten even the hands that feed them. Those who have been chased by a dog will fear going near to another. Dogs can never replace one’s own children. We feed our children first, then our dogs. Our children eat on the table, while dogs eat on the floor. We give our best to our children, then the left-overs to our dogs. No doubt, there are exceptions - some feed their dogs with the best they can afford. Yet, no one will deny that one’s children come first in our thoughts and affection.
The Bible describes human beings, in their various sinful states, as dogs (e.g. 2 K 8:13; Ps 22:20; Prov 26:11; Mt 7:6; 15:26-27; Rev 22:14-15). We are no better than ungrateful dogs for turning away from our Creator. We sin against Him by not worshipping Him, and by breaking His laws. We lie, we steal, we hate, we commit adultery - in our mind, if not in action. We are unfaithful to God, yet He remains faithful to His creatures and seeks to save many. He sent His only begotten Son to this world to take on perfect human nature, to live a perfectly righteous life, and to die on the cross as the perfect sacrifice for sinners.
Yes, Jesus Christ died on the cross in order to take away the sins of His people. Those who repent of their sins and believe in Him will be given eternal life. They will be transformed by the Spirit of God so that their nature takes on a new quality, shown by a changed life. They will be reconciled to God, and will live in this world with peace in their hearts. The risen Christ continues to call sinners to Himself: "Come to Me, all you who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest...” (Matthew 11:28).