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Year of the Dog

It’s not going to happen. Even in this Year of the Dog. Even though my daughter drags me again past the ‘little doggies’ in the window at the local pet shop. You know, the ones with the eyes that are big, brown, and hypnotic. (The secret of resistance, I found, is to avoid eye contact with both the dog and the daughter. But my resistance is weakening, and I fear that I may be in real danger of compromise.)

There’s a man in the Bible who certainly didn’t grow soft in his old age. At least, not in the matter of theology. Caleb was his name, which in Hebrew means ‘dog’, and so he was. Dog by name and dogged by heart. Dogged in his pursuit of God, and dogged in his obedience to the will of heaven.  When the Israelites came to a fork in the road – Promised Land to the left, Desert Wilderness to the right – Caleb was one of the few who screamed out “Left! Left!”

The next time we hear of him is forty years later, in the Promised Land, after having suffered the consequences of the majority who screamed out for a different direction. There’s a city to be captured, and who is the first to volunteer to lead the charge? Caleb, now eighty, but still strong and determined in his passion to do God’s will. And still a wonderful example of determined obedience in this Year of the Dog.

DM 13th Feb 2018


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