Early morning in March, first light is at hand but the shadowy outline of a furry creature in the distance makes me stop…..then the scent…ewwww! Sheba, my dog, knows something is making its way up the hill. She, unlike me, is now eager to trail it. She starts pulling the leash…As she uncomfortably pulls me up towards the scurrying skunk, I think,”Why, Why?? I am trying to enjoy an early morning hike!” But the gentle inner voice brings me back to my previous article “The Dog Walker” and God brings yet another image to mind. The skunk represents sin! Dogs have no fear of skunks initially, In fact ,they will run right up to a skunk, until the skunk turns and sprays the unsuspecting dog— the “sin” is the horrific oil used by the skunk to protect itself. The smell clings to our skin, our own human efforts to remove the smell just dulls the scent but cannot remove it. Skunks do not want to spray. Its their only defense. A skunk will typically give a warning sign like raising its tail, shaking it as an additional warning. To a domestic dog, these acts are not warnings but invitations to sniff. The dog is attracted to the skunk!
Tomato juice has been the historical answer to rid the smell, which I find interesting…this red liquid will dull the smell but it clings to us and does not die easily once the oily spray adheres. “Sin” waves its tail, looks like an invitation but get too close and we are hit with the noxious scent that will cling so thickly to our skin. It leaves its eye-watering scent on the road, in the air…those “dogs” (the inner selfish souls) which have not been trained by their “owner”, with constant focused attention to Him (God,the Ultimate Creator) will race off to sniff and trail the “skunk”. It is attractive to our inner “dog”. But when we get too close, we will be sprayed and blinded by the sin. It’s the obedience to the master that keeps our souls safe and free from “sin”. No human effort can remove the smell completely. Sin is like an oil which, no matter how much we try to remove it, is impossible, the only red liquid that will cleanse us “white as snow” is Jesus’s blood. He cleans us up, one side, down the other and inside out. By His blood and confessing our sins, declaring, “Yes, Lord, you are God, be “master” of my life, I give all control to you; only then is the smelly, cloying scent of sin erased. We are pure and clean. Then our obedience training begins in earnest.