My journey through life has involved a lot of travel in ministry and missions. It has afforded the opportunity to spend many wonderful days in Africa. The work among the beautiful African people has been fulfilling, and the opportunity to view the incredible wildlife there has been an unbelievable bonus.
My wife and I have been able to take time away from the pressures of ministry and retreat to wilderness areas teeming with wildlife. As riveting as the Big 5 (lion, leopard, elephant, cape buffalo, and rhinoceros) are, one of my wife’s favorites is the meerkat. These adorable little creatures, about the size of a squirrel, belong to the mongoose family. They are famed for their upright posture. They often stand on their rear legs and gaze alertly over the southern African plains where they live.
Meerkats forage in a group called a ‘mob’. Because their diet includes lizards, worms and insect larva, bugs and etc., their focus is mainly on the ground. This makes them especially vulnerable to the many predators in the area, particularly hawks and eagles that attack from above. There is always a lookout or sentry on guard watching for predators while the others search for food. The lookout is essential to the survival of mob members. Sentry duty is usually about an hour long and then another will take up the task.
The meerkat lookouts help the mob survive physically. I believe there is a principle here that can apply to us spiritually. We live is a dangerous world. Scripture states, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12). Like the meerkats we need lookouts. We need fellow believers who love us enough to sound a warning cry when our course of action is dangerous. We need to be connected to a body of believers where the pastor, Sunday school teachers, and group leaders all feel a responsibility for the welfare of individuals in the group. Our best interest is served when our friends believe that they are “their brothers’ keepers”.
There is another salient point to be drawn from Meerkat behavior. The lookout’s responsibility is shared by the group. All group members are expected to play an active role in the well being of others in the mob. God’s word says we should “love our neighbors as ourselves” (Mark 12:31).
Lord, Help Us To Be A ‘Lookout’ For The Mob
~ Brother Roy