Summary: Be strong and don’t lag behind for the wolves are watching and drooling!
The Ones The Wolves Pulled Down!
Garth Brooks had a song awhile back called Wolves written by Miss Stephanie Davis. In it he speaks of thinking about the ones the wolves pulled down the morning after he drove heifers to lower ground during a bitter January with ten-foot drifts and wind that had been blowing for weeks. The song also speaks about a family that lost its ranch to the bank due to dry years. He then prays for a light of hope for those who have fallen behind asking for God to pull them up while there is still time, yet he remembers God getting him through his hard times. While he prays, he hears the lonesome, mournful sounds of the cattle that have lost their calves and then asks that God keep him from being the one the wolves pull down.
Wolves have always been bad in our folklore though some would say that the imagery is wrong. When the wolf is at the door, it is bad news whether you are pig or human. Red Foley knew enough hard times that he said, “The proverbial wolf at the door had a litter of pups on my back porch.” Wolves are always shown pulling down the very young, the sick, the very old and the stragglers.
In Scripture, wolves are not portrayed in a good light either so I have to believe that they are treacherous and dangerous animals. The Creator would know them better than the best zoologist in the world so I’ll take His expert evaluation of the critters. In their defense, I will have to say that before the Fall of man they were not what they are today so it is really man’s fault that we have wolves as they are.
Luke 10:3 Go your ways: behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves. (KJV)
When Jesus sent out His seventy disciples, He knew what was awaiting them. When they started preaching the Gospel and doing mighty works among the people, they were going to arouse the wolves. The religious and political establishment would not be fond of people rocking boats and horning in on their territory. They would be thirsting for blood and longing to rip flesh and crush the bones of these defenseless disciples.
Matt 10:16 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. (KJV)
He told the Twelve the same thing and gave them instructions on how to act. Wise as a serpent is to be able to quickly assess a situation and be able to handle it accordingly. Most snakes will turn away from a fight and only strike a human when they feel they have no choice. There will be dangerous times for the Twelve and they need to know when to take a stand and when to kick the dust from their feet and walk on or even to run if necessary.
Though giving the Word of God to a lost person will often cause a reaction like a snakebite because it burns or hurts the Twelve are to be harmless as doves. They are ambassadors of peace and they need to be peaceful in the administration of their duties. Thus, we have the command for pastors to be not brawlers or strikers. We are commanded to avoid useless discussions (profane and vain babblings) and even to walk away from a heretic after the first or second admonition. We fight the good fight with peace and even though we may have to turn over the moneychanger’s tables, from time to time the intent of our hearts must be to bring in truth that we may bring in peace and reconciliation to people for whom Jesus died. Sometimes we can convert wolves into sheep and that should be a driving motivation for us.