“How lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD Almighty! My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the LORD; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young— a place near your altar, O LORD Almighty, my King and my God. Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever praising you (Psalm 84:1-4).”
We’re thinking of getting a dog down the road, so the other day my wife and I went to a couple of shelters. I have never been a big dog fan, but even the hardest heart would have to melt at the plight of some of these animals.
The dogs are in one large room in separate cages. As you enter the room, the barking starts. Many of them look at you with eyes which are starved for companionship. One dog in particular jumped on the door of its cage with its front paws, seeking to stick its nose through the wire for some human touch. Other dogs are slumped in their pens, looking dejected and without hope.
They are well-taken care of by those in charge of the shelters. One couple obviously cared for their animals. They stayed open even though we arrived late. The woman caretaker told me that anytime someone came to look at shelter dogs that they were more than willing to accomodate them.
Humans without God are like these dogs. They long for a home, but are in prison. Although animals operate by instinct, humans know in their hearts that they need loving companionship. Unfortunately, many people look for it in the wrong places and end up straying from God and the home He would provide for them.
Instead, people running from God end up in a jail run by an evil warden. They become subject to his whims and rule and are as good as dead. They are without hope. One day they wake up in a prison of their own making because they have hardened their hearts toward God (Proverbs 28:14).
However, some of us have had the joy of watching Jesus walk through the door and adopt us. He took us home and we have experienced His kindness ever since (Ephesians 2:1-7). We gladly accepted His offer of a new life. We’d have to be crazy to run away from home again.