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The Wolves We Don’t See

Deuteronomy 7:22
“The LORD your God will clear away these nations before you little by little. You may not make an end of them at once, lest the wild beasts grow too numerous for you.”

We may draw distinctions in our everyday lives between the theological and the practical, between the deeply rooted moral laws that govern the universe and those seemingly trivial rules of thumb, between crimson letters as sacred as “I am the Resurrection and the Life” and grayer words like “lest the wild beasts grow too numerous for you,” but no such distinction actually exists in the perfect will of Almighty God.

Given what we know from the whole range of biblical doctrine, and rising especially from our understanding that Christ was slain before the foundation of the world and that redemption for a fallen humanity was always the telos of creation, we’d expect to find hints of that wider vision here in Deuteronomy, wouldn’t we? We’d expect verse 22 to read in more Pauline fashion, something like, “The LORD your God will clear away these nations before you little by little, because Christ will destroy the dragon of old by the word of His own power in the fulfillment of days, in the final reaping of His Kingdom harvest, when men of all tribes and tongues and nations bow the knee in worship!” We’d expect a riveting prophetic glimpse like that, not a downright earthy rationale related to the sundry matter of making sure that wolves and lions don’t start running rampant. Yet, that’s part of the richness of this divine testimony, friend! God is always doing a marvelous, cosmic work to advance His spiritual domain, yet He advances that domain through menial, mundane movements like these. When Paul says in Colossians 1 that Christ holds all things together by the word of His power, that truth doesn’t just feed philosophers and cosmologists, but also ravens and lilies. Because the highest theological concept we can ascertain in Scripture, and recite in a creed, is also the lowest.

Friend, if the work God is doing in your life today seems too slow, if it’s taking too agonizingly long, consider that there are wolves and lions hiding in the woods right now that you don’t see. And for your wellbeing, God needs to clear them out first.