It was a sunny and windy day, and Jack was taking a jog around the nearby park. All a sudden, he heard a few loud Bulldog barks that came from over this tall brown fence. Looking around, he saw nobody, and decided to go forward to investigate.
He peeped through the only hole in the fence, and then he saw 4 bulldogs, and immediately, his felt like he was flying through the night sky on a silver bathtub. His heart raced and went buttery inside his stomach. He loved Bulldogs!! He’d always wanted Bulldogs, but his father just wouldn’t allow him to get one, or even let him get near one.
Quickly, he looked around, and but saw somebody coming round the bend. Afraid that the person might know his father and tattle on him, and decided to continue jogging, and come back another day. Glancing longingly at the fence’s entry door that had no lock but only a latch, he told himself he must come back and visit these cute adorable little Bulldogs.
A few days later, he came back to the same spot, and to his delight, the bulldogs were still there!! The same buttery feeling came back and he felt all warm and good. He started smiling to himself, and headed to gate, which still only had a latch on it.
Walking towards the gate, he looked at the latch, and then it crossed his mind that perhaps there was a reason for these fences to be erected. Maybe these dogs aren’t that friendly, if not they might have long ago opened a food booth to sell Bulldog food for $2 so that the public could feed the cute doggies.
But just as sudden as the thought crossed his mind, he noticed as well a notice that he had not noticed (pun!) before. It read, “Do Not Feed the Cute Bulldoggies”. But it didn’t give any explanation! And that kinda frustrated Jack, but he decided to just obey it anyway.
He went back home.
Days passed by, but the thought of the cute Bulldoggies just wouldn’t get off his head. One day, he couldn’t bear it any longer, and decided to just go back to the little dog pen, to go and see the Bulldogs. “Someone needs to pat them you see, if not they’d get lonely.” So with that justification in mind, he went back to the Bulldog pen.
Upon reaching the pen, to his utter utmost and utterable delight, the bulldogs were still there! To make things sweeter, the cute Bulldoggies uttered a whine each. Aww! His heart melted again.
Walking towards the latched door, he saw the notice again. Darn! He stood there for a moment, and decided that the Bulldoggies were really lonely, and then he proceeded to shift the notice to the other side of the fence. Thudding the bluetac firmly, the notice stuck firmly on the other side of the fence, firmly out of sight of anyone who was approaching the latched door.
Ha! There! Now it’s not my fault that I can’t read the sign anymore. The sign just happened to be shifted. It’s their fault that they didn’t shift the notice back the moment it got shifted away.
A whine sounded out, and with butterflies in his stomach, Jack skipped and half ran toward the door. Ah! My dream at last! Cute Bulldoggies!
With that in mind, he lifted the latch, opened the door, stepped in, and closed the door behind him. Absolutely nothing could be seen of him anymore from the outside. Joy, joy, joy!
At first sounded a few whines and cries of delight, then next a resounding yelp, followed by a cry of surprise. Then sounds of gnashing teeth, cries of terror and pain, and then, silence. Nothing ever more was heard of Jack. Neither was anything reported to be found.
“What profit is it that we have kept his ordinances?” – Malachi 3:14, King James Version
“What do we gain if we meet his standards?” – Malachi 3:14, God’s Word
Ordinances, by definition of my offline dictionary, are “an authoritative rule”, in other words, the Rule(s) of God.
What profit is it that we have kept his Laws, Precepts and Commandments? What do we gain if we kept it? Many have heard the phrase, the Word of God gives life. Not many fully understand it. Neither do I.
So how does it give life? Some say “life” refers to salvation, and an eternity in Heaven. Some say it gives inspiration. Some says it gives so much encouragement and motivation that it feels like “life” itself.
But today, I’m not so much so worried if “Life” was to be spoken about figuratively or literally, or what the real and authentic definition of “Life” is, but I would humbly share about my thoughts about another way the Commandments of God give life.
In the simple story and illustration painted above, a few parallels can be drawn from the story of Jack and the Bulldogs.
Doing a quick and simple analysis of the story, here’s the main 3 terms and actions that relate to us:
Jog round the park: Our everyday life
Fence with the Notice: God’s Commandments and Precepts
Cute, Adorable Bulldogs: Desirable Sin
Like Jack, all of us do a “jog round the park”, which represents us going about doing our own everyday stuff. Then when something distracts us, maybe it could be a girl wearing FBTs and tank tops, or it could be a nice covetous bag from Prata, and our heads turn.
When looking through the peep hole, peeping represents us making a conscious decision to take a second look. And of course, when we see something tempting, and we keep feasting our eyes on it, it will only become more desirable, hence the “warm buttery feelings etc”.
Then suddenly, we read about how Jack’s father forbade Jack to ever have or even go near a bulldog. How much more have our own Father warned us of our own bulldogs, erecting fences round them! And just like Jack, we try to forget about temptation, but we realise that sooner rather than later we are unable to (this is a separate topic! Fighting off temptation!).
Soon enough, we find ourselves running back to our source of temptation, and more often than not, we know that the fences built around the bulldogs have a reason for its existence, and then we find out that there is a specific commandment regarding avoiding certain sins, we obey at first, and then we go back and away from temptations.
But sometimes, we get frustrated and wonder why God would be keeping us away from certain things. It just doesn’t make sense! Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery! Why not? Exodus 20:14 itself doesn’t give any rationale or explanations why we shouldn’t!
And then we start craving the sin.
Slowly, we start to try to justify our sin, telling ourselves various reasons to convince ourselves, such as “Oh! I know another respected Young Adult who also sometimes does the same thing!” With that, we justify ourselves indulging in a bit of lusty (which just mean anything you’re not supposed to have. Not only sexual references) desires.
Then just like Jack and the notice, after justifying sin as OK and just-a-little-bit-wouldn’t-hurt, we suddenly have the Word of God and His Laws right smack in our faces.
So, there is that dratted Law of God. How am I supposed to indulge now?? Guilt will fill me! So we decide to “hide our Bible”, or hide the Word (which can meant figuratively or literally). For example whilst lusting we decide to pause for that brief period of time the Christian music belted out on the iPod. Or maybe whilst gossiping and slandering about that new unpleasant girl on the block Christian music is changed to Avril Lavigne.
Now free from anything or any guilt that could possibly stop us, we decide to enter the Bulldog pen, and no prizes for guessing what follows entering the pen. Munch munch. Chew. Smack. Burp! We get consumed by sin.
Sometimes, we don’t understand, or know why God erected that fence (gave us that commandment). But sometimes, it doesn’t matter.
Bulldogs can kill.