A wolf is a wolf is a wolf
I recently watched the 2011 adaption of the classic story Little Red Riding Hood on a cold New England winter’s night. The movie’s author portrayed the big bad wolf as being a member of little red riding hood’s immediate family. He lived in and participated actively in the community. The movie did a terrific job at keeping the audience guessing about the wolf’s identity.
A few weeks later, I listened to a podcast about wolves in sheep’s clothing. The speaker talked about persons who hide in plain sight, oftentimes wrapped in a cloak that isn’t easily discernible. These characters pretend to be one person in public, but, in private; they are completely different. These wolves are gifted at hiding behind smoke and mirrors under the guise of religion, work, marriage, children, etc. They live and breathe deception. It is a deeply satisfying game to them to fool others with the goal of getting what they want and to “win” no matter who gets wounded in the process. There may be verbal repentance and tears when they are caught or exposed, but the person’s actions don’t back up true change and repentance.
The book of Genesis talks about a man who had this kind of attitude. Cain and Abel were brothers. Both men brought offerings to God, but Cain’s offering wasn’t acceptable. God spoke to Cain: “Why this tantrum? Why the sulking? If you do well, won’t you be accepted? And if you don’t do well, sin is lying in wait of you, ready to pounce, it’s out to get you, you’ve got to master it.” Cain had words with his brother. They were out in the field; Cain came at Abel his brother and killed him. God said to Cain, “Where is Abel, your brother?” He said, “How should I know: Am I his babysitter?” Genesis 4:6-9 MSG
It’s interesting to note the Scriptures never tell us if Cain was sorry for murdering his brother in cold blood. The text does tell the reader, however, that Cain grumbled and complained after God told him the consequences of killing his brother. Interestingly, It appears as if what mattered most to Cain was saving his own skin.
Lord Jesus, You aren’t ever fooled. You see behind the veils of our hearts and minds. Please open our eyes up to the wolves that live in plain sight. Oftentimes, this takes discernment and wisdom not of this world so we need Your continued help. Thank You for your protection and provision. Amen.
See that man shoveling day after day, digging, then concealing, his man-trap down that lonely stretch of road? Go back and look again—you’ll see him in headfirst, legs waving in the breeze. That’s what happens: mischief backfires; violence boomerangs. I’m thanking God Who makes things right. I’m singing the fame of heaven-high God. Psalm 7:15-17 MSG