In medieval times, areas known to be dangerous or unexplored were often labeled on maps with the warning: “Beware, Here Be Dragons.” It was a common practice among ancient mariners to put images of dragons, sea serpents, and other mythological creatures on the uncharted areas of their maps along with such warnings.
As a youth, pictures of such maps always fascinated me. Pictures of ancient maps in my school History books always captured my attention. Recently, one of those old images flashed across my mind. I was sitting on the veranda at my daughter’s house in Johannesburg, South Africa. She lives in a nice residential area. Her backyard fence borders a large field. This green space is replete with a wooded area, acacia bushes, and several thickets. Parts of the field are occasionally mowed and other areas left covered with tall grass. I was half asleep in the warm sun when I casually looked out across one of the mowed areas. I jolted to attention! I scarcely could believe my eyes. There was a large dragon moving through the grass only a few yards away. Well, it looked like a dragon to an American who was half asleep. Actually, it was a very large African Monitor Lizard. Before I could get my camera, it ambled off and disappeared and the images of the dragons from my mind faded.
There is a spiritual application to be made here about dragons and the warning, “Beware, Here Be Dragons.” Man is wonderfully and fearfully made (Psalm 139:14). We are wonderfully made, because we are created with free will. We can choose our own way. We are also fearfully made because we can choose our way. God has a wonderful plan for our lives, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11, NIV). But, we are free to reject His will and wisdom and go our own way.
If we choose to ignore God’s way and move into uncharted areas, we need to heed the post, “Beware, Here Be Dragons”. The Book of Revelation reveals who the dragon really is, “He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more” (Revelation 20:2-3). The scriptures tell us of the fate of those who refuse God’s way and strike out on their own to areas where dragons are found:
- “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death” (Proverbs 14:12, NKJV).
- “And you shall grope at noonday, as a blind man gropes in darkness; you shall not prosper in your ways; you shall be only oppressed and plundered continually, and no one shall save you” (Deuteronomy 28:29, NKJV).
- “They do not know, nor do they understand; they walk about in darkness; All the foundations of the earth are unstable” (Psalm 82:5, NKJV).
- “Therefore their way shall be to them like slippery ways; In the darkness they shall be driven on and fall in them; For I will bring disaster on them…” says the Lord” (Jeremiah 23:12 NKJV).
In light of scriptures like these, it just makes good sense to exercise your free will and choose God’s way for your life.
In All Thy Ways Acknowledge Him, And He Shall Direct Thy Paths (Proverbs 3:6)
~ Brother Roy