LHM Lenten Devotion – April 1, 2014 “A Pack of Wild Dogs”


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Lenten Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

By Reverend Wayne Palmer

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“A Pack of Wild Dogs”

April 1, 2014

Lenten devo cover 2014Read Psalm 59TEXT: For dogs encompass me; a company of evildoers encircles me (see Psalm 22:16).

King David’s prophecy of Jesus’ crucifixion returns to the animal theme we saw several days ago. He wrote of bulls and lions; now he writes of a pack of wild dogs. By itself, a single dog may not be as powerful or intimidating as a bull or lion. A pack of wild dogs, however, are relentless predators that run down their prey. These dogs take turns leading the pack, so there are always fresh dogs heading up the chase. That’s where the expression “to dog someone” comes from, to keep nipping at their heels, pursuing them until they grow weary and become exhausted. This method allows a pack of dogs to bring down prey animals much larger than themselves.

All kinds of Jewish officials dogged Jesus’ steps throughout His ministry. They spied on Him, challenged Him, countered Him, accused Him, tried to interfere and turn the crowds against Him.

When the single, exhausted animal stops to rest, the dogs form a circle around it, and close in for the kill. David uses a couplet to reveal the true identity of the “dogs” encompassing Jesus: they are a company of evildoers encircling His cross. It includes all those who have brought Him to the cross: the Roman soldiers who nailed Him there, Pontius Pilate who abandoned Him, the Jewish leaders who engineered His destruction, and the mob that sought His life, now standing, watching and mocking Him.

That company of evildoers includes Judas who betrayed Him, Peter who denied Him, and the remainder of the Twelve who abandoned Him. It also includes you and me-for He is carrying our sins to the cross.

THE PRAYER: Lord Jesus Christ, Your enemies showed the persistence of a pack of wild dogs. Forgive my sin and protect me from all harm and danger that I may remain in this faith and live with You in Paradise. Amen.


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