Strawberry Bubblegum was her name. She was as sweet as her name. Bingo was another one. He was as entertaining as a good game of Bingo. They looked very different than all the other rabbits. Years later I would find out why.
When I was a little girl, we had many pets. From cats and dogs to guinea pigs and rabbits, there was never a time I can remember not having some sort of creature to occupy a lot of my time. Rabbits were among these creatures. Lots of them. In fact, my dad had converted a very large walk in dog pen area into a rabbit “neighborhood.” Rows and rows of cages lined the walls. I remember feeding them, visiting them, and befriending some of them.
One of those friends eventually became known as Strawberry Bubblegum. I loved strawberry flavored candy. I loved bubblegum. I could not decide which name would be better so I combined them. One of my sisters befriended a rabbit who would become known as Bingo. I always wondered why my parents only allowed us to play with these colorful rabbits and not the plain gray ones.
Years later I would find out that the rows and rows of rabbit cages were actually a business. The “off limits” bunnies were for selling. I had always just assumed that our family really just wanted to have a lot of rabbits…like 150 of them. Oh, the innocence of a child. My parents never told me why we had so many bunnies. They knew I would try to pull a Fern…the little girl on Charlotte’s Web who rescues a pig named Wilbur from the grasps of becoming breakfast for her family. They knew me too well.
Looking back, though, I wince at the fact that those furry balls of cuteness were to become possible meals for other people. Country living was sometimes a reminder of how intense nature and the real world can be. I also look back and think how odd it was that we housed our pet rabbits among those that were for sale. When I became privy to the purpose of our huge stock of bunnies, I wondered what conversations were had between them as they lay in their pens at night. I wondered if the “other rabbits” knew how different their fate was from that of Strawberry Bubblegum and Bingo.
One home for rabbits. Two very different futures for two different groups of cuties.
Hosea 14:9 says, “Who is wise? Let them realize these things. Who is discerning? Let them understand. The ways of the Lord are right; the righteous walk in them, but the rebellious stumble in them.”
One situation, two types of people, two completely different outcomes.
This scripture tells us there are two different types of people: those who are righteous and those who are rebellious. One situation: the ways of the Lord are right. Two outcomes: walking and stumbling. How can one situation create very different results between two groups of people?
Hosea speaks of the “righteous” who walk in the right ways of the Lord. So rare was this group of people in his day. So rare is this group of people in our day, as well. He also speaks of the rebellious who were very abundant in his day…and are abundant these days. Now we have our two groups established. Our one situation remains. The ways of the Lord are right, true, and real. Regardless of the group in which one falls, both groups of people have been created by one creator, one God, in one world.
The question remains, how can one situation create very different results between two groups of people?
There is enough of saving truth clear in God’s Word to guide those humbly seeking salvation. Those who are earnestly seeking truth, maturity in their walk, and a heart for the things of God will find what they are seeking. “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”- Jeremiah 29:13. Therefore, these people will walk and not stumble. As a result -“…those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”- Isaiah 40:31.
On the other hand…the same salvation offered, the same truth revealed, the same creator loving them…the rebellious stumble. Why? While there is enough of clearly stated truth in the word of God, there are just enough difficulties to confound those who curiously look for difficulties, rather than practically seek salvation.
What I mean is that there are portions of scripture that do not completely make sense to some, me included. It is not because God’s word contradicts itself. It is not because God’s word is right in some places and wrong in others. No mistakes are made by the creator of all things. It is by my finite and limited mind that I do not understand all things in the word of God. Who am I to think that my thoughts can compare to the living God?! But I will continue to seek understanding through the word of God, nevertheless. Then there are others, who find what does not make sense to them and they run with it. “Aha!” They think the infallible word of God is no longer truth. They reject it and want to bring others down with them. They debate truth, they confuse good with evil, and they, in turn, fall.
Another reason the rebellious stumble while the righteous walk? Those in opposition to God and his truth will always oppose truth that opposes their views. They are offended at anything opposed to their sin, or above their self-wise understanding. Think of yourself prior to your own salvation. Was this you? Is this you?
I have heard it said that the same sun softens wax and hardens clay. Oh that we would all have a heart of wax and not clay.
Whether we like it or not, we are living in this world. Like my 150 rabbits, we are all in the same pen. What will be your outcome?