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The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them. (Isaiah 11:6)
Lately while walking along the shores of Loch Etive, Bonnie, my Border Collie, has taken to sniffing out the otter which inhabits a stretch of the loch.
The first time was so interesting to watch as she intently walked back and forward through the seaweed, picking up the scent. As I watched, the seaweed rose ever so slightly about a foot from her, as the otter carefully pushed its head through to watch Bonnie’s antics. Then it disappeared to come up six feet away in the water.
Bonnie stopped and stared. No barking, just inquisitiveness. And now she knows what an otter is and looks for it every time, and usually finds it.
Two days ago, the otter was teasing Bonnie, swimming only a few feet away from her. This time Bonnie decided to go in and swim with it much to my horror. But nothing happened. There seemed to be an understanding (but I did get her out as soon as!).
It made me think of the above verse taken from the prophet Isaiah about the coming of Jesus. It speaks about a peace on Earth symbolised by animals which are the hunter and the prey. It speaks of a time to come when ‘the Earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea’.
In a time when natural disasters, wars, famines are in every day news, we may despair. But take hope, a time will come when His peace shall reign and His good news will be known throughout the world.
Dr Stuart Chalmers, Oban Baptist Church