Never Pet a Porcupine

porcupineI really enjoy watching wildlife programs on television. That attraction has been fueled by the privilege I’ve had to take numerous safaris in Africa. One of the programs I recently watched featured a couple of large lion cubs. They were nearly adult in size, but their inexperience was obvious. A porcupine had waddled by attracting their attention. The porcupine was slow and much smaller than the lions. It appeared to be an easy meal at best or an interesting playmate at worst.

What a disastrous decision one of the lion cubs made in attacking the small, slow moving creature! The result was a face and paws full of barbed quills. The attack by the inexperienced cub was a fatal one. Barely able to walk and eat, the lion cub had suffered lethal wounds and eventually died.

Can you see a life lesson in this event? Sin, like the porcupine, often appears to be innocuous. The lions thought this small animal appeared harmless, perhaps good to eat or fun to bat around. Their inexperience proved devastating. Sin is always destructive, but is often viewed as little more than an interesting ‘plaything’. Many people choose, in spite of the strongest of Biblical warnings, “to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season” (Hebrews 11:25).  Many contemporary song lyrics echo a dismissive attitude toward sin. Phrases like; “it can’t be wrong if it feels so right” and “heaven is just a sin away” serve to illustrate this point.

Solomon calls to our attention the fact that it is the “little foxes’ that spoil the vines” (Song of Solomon 2:15). One of Satan’s devices is to present sin as less than it is. He would have you believe you can commit small sins without any danger to your soul. Consider, however, how many ‘small’ sins such as the eating of the fruit in the garden, unauthorized fire on the altar, and the touching of the ark, have received searing judgment. Severe penalties fell upon the inexperienced and the careless perpetrators.

All too often, small sins seem to make way for greater ones. By yielding to the lesser, we give opportunity for Satan to tempt us in the greater. It is a sad thing to depart from God’s will for a small and seemingly harmless sin. It is the greatest folly to chance hell for a small transgression. For the love of one little sin, some have lost God and their souls forever. Many times small sins can more dangerous than ‘major’ ones. Great sins may startle the soul, and awaken it to repentance, but little ones breed and work secretly until they contaminate the soul.

Prayer:  Lord never let us underestimates the destructive nature of sin, even little ones. Give us the wisdom to never pet a porcupine.

~ Brother Roy


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