*Artwork: “The Dog and the Shadow” by Raphael Tuck.
A Dog was crossing a bridge over a lake with a piece of flesh in his mouth, and saw his own shadow in the water and took it for that of another dog. In the silhouette, the piece of meat in its mouth seemed to be double his own in size. He immediately let go of his own piece, and fiercely attacked the fictitious dog to get the larger piece from him. But in the process, he lost two things: That which he grasped for in the water, because it was a shadow, and his own portion, because the stream swept it away.
Application #1: What a curse covetousness is! If we could gather all the stories concerning the loss many have already experienced due to this malady, all human resources would be exhausted in the writing of it. Yet, godly contentment is the greatest enemy to covetousness (1 Timothy 6:6). If we would discipline ourselves to be content with what God has placed in our mouths, we would not be so eager to chase the world’s shadows and risk losing what we already have.
Application #2: Even as you read this, many in the world have lost their rational and moral sense, and have cast aside the succulent meant of Christian truth and wisdom in order to gain the shadowy and illusive meats of vain philosophies. They pursue what they perceive to be a better ideology that will justify their immoral actions, but in the process lose their right of way and eventually their souls (Romans 1:21-22).