Friday, March 6, 2009

A Dolphin Knows Best!

Read Joshua 23:6-11

16 year-old Brandon Banks and the rest of the residents of the Newfoundland village of Seal Cove had gone to bed with the wailing sounds of 5 dolphins in the ice of the harbor. The village is about 4 hours drive from the town of my birth. The dolphins found themselves trapped in a restricted inlet and they were swimming around in a small open area that getting smaller and smaller as the ice closed in. The story was reported on February 19/09 in the Globe & Mail newspaper.

Dolphins are among God’s most amazing and intelligent creatures. I know that from my own experience with them in the North Atlantic. Eventually, Brandon and his friends decided that they would attempt a rescue with the use of a local small boat with an outboard motor. By this time only three dolphins remained. But, the goal was to break up enough ice so that the dolphins could swim free. Finally, two of the dolphins followed the boat and then headed to freedom in the open sea.

But, one dolphin seemed too tired or weak to join the others. Brandon jumped into the icy water (in a “red dry suit”) and tried to keep the 180 kilogram dolphin above water using his legs. What happened next is amazing! Seal cove Mayor Winston May told Canadian Press that “the dolphin just kind of attached to (Brandon) and wrapped his flippers around him, more or less like a friend or mate!” Brandon attached a rope around the dolphin and then to the boat. Once they slowly reached the point of open sea, the dolphin was released and swam away to freedom!

What an illustration of Biblical truth! Destructive influences – false “gods”, popular beliefs, twisted use of the internet and bad video games – all can close in on us like winter ice. Slowly but surely, various forms of sin can choke us off from the true freedom that is experienced only in unhindered fellowship with God. Heed the advice given to the people of Israel before the first advent of Jesus. They were encouraged to feed on the Word of God, to walk daily in God’s way and to resist the evil nations around them. Then, Joshua counseled the people and their leaders:

But you are to HOLD FAST to the Lord your God, as you have

until now. The Lord has driven out before you great and powerful

nations; to this day no one has been able to withstand you. One of

you (defeats) a thousand, because the Lord your God fights for you,

just as he promised. So be careful to love the Lord your God. (23:8-11, NIV)

As the dolphin held onto Brandon with his flippers, hold fast to God so that you can “swim” daily in real freedom and joy in the “open waters” of God’s Kingdom. You can do whatever God calls you to do and draw others to faith in His Son, the Lord Jesus. Learn from the dolphin’s behavior because in this case the dolphin knew best! Hold firmly to THE ONE who can give you life now and always.

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