Lemmings have been on my mind lately. It seems that I use to hear more about lemmings years ago. I remember my favorite teacher, Mr. T.F. Davies, telling us not to be like lemmings, blindly following a leader to our own peril and death. I could digress here and dwell on lemmings but that's not really where my mind is at this morning, it's on lemming like behavior and Joshua (1:8), another of my favorite teachers.


I've been making my way through the gospels this month and picked up at Mark 8 today. No BIG message here this morning, just a couple of passages (Mark 9:23, 24 and 9:32) that required some application of Joshua 1:8. Because Joshua 1:8 takes time I don't know yet what the Lord will "say to me" about how they apply to my life but they did get me thinking about lemmings. Or rather, the process of meditating on God's Word, got me onto lemmings... Ok, ok, where am I going with this?


The thought that, I could skip all this meditation stuff, I could just use one of the many tools available today (an app, a web site, a broadcast message, etc.) or I could just wait until my pastor preaches on it. And, that's when I thought of lemmings streaming by. Not blindly exactly, but unknowingly following the herd, and the herd somewhere ahead following a "leader". Then, as Mr Davies told us many times, it's over the cliff and drowning in the sea. A great image, one that motivated me for years to not follow the crowd. But the reality of lemming behaviour is an even more important lesson.


It seems that lemmings aren't going willy-nilly over the cliff to their deaths. Researchers now think that lemmings know they're heading into, entering, deep water. The problem is that they are strong swimmers but don't know how long they'll have to swim, how strongly they'll have to swim... It isn't getting into the water that's the problem, it's not being able to individually weigh and evaluate what getting in the water means.


And, finally, I'm back at Joshua 1:8 and why it reminds me of lemmings hurrying past. It's easy and quick to let someone else lead us to an understanding of what God is saying, how it applies to our lives. It takes time and effort to meditate on our "book of the law" so that we can "be careful to do according to all that is written in it." It's only when we find those "what do you mean?" messages and aren't afraid to apply Joshua 1:8 that we avoid being led into more than we have the ability to safely swim through. The disciples could have personally asked Christ to help them understand (Mk 9:32), we can too.

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  • Read this devotional today and thought it applied. 

    A Pure Heart

    “May the Lord lead your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s patience.”  2 Thessalonians 3:5

    The majority is not always right. If the majority had ruled, the children of Israel never would have left Egypt. They would have voted to stay in bondage. If the majority had ruled, David never would have fought Goliath. His brothers would have voted for him to stay with the sheep. What’s the point? You must listen to your own heart.

    God says you’re on your way to becoming a disciple when you can keep a clear head and a pure heart.


  • Margie, thanks for your comments and insight. Have a great weekend, everyone. He is risen indeed!
  • Yeah, it was interesting that Abraham gave Lot first choice, and Lot went for what looked the best––deceivingly so.
  • Margie, you're right about Lot being a puzzle. I'm never sure exactly what the lesson is there. In fact, because of your comment, I went back and started from the time he and his uncle began their journey together until Lot drops out of sight. I think it's important that when they seperated he looked at how lush the Jordan valley was and chose that for himself, then  "and pitched his tents next to Sodom. (Now the people of Sodom were extremely wicked rebels against the Lord)" (Gen 13:12b-13 NET) and when the Angels arrive at Sodom he's sitting at the city gate, usually a place of power and influence. Then his last actions after the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah is the incestious fathering of the Moabites and Ammonites. Lot should cause us all to spend...bad pun here...extra time thinking!
  • Thought provoking, Ray. I was working on a lesson today on Abraham and Lot, and the fact that Lot was the only righteous person to be found in Sodom. It hit me, for the first time––I wonder why he was willing to stay in that environment. Surely, he could see that he was in a pagan world. Yet he chose to stay. Sounds like a lemming  . . . willing to continue, regardless of the outcome.


    Good food for thought.



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