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The coat
October 29, 2012
by Dr. Tom Rakow, Pastor; Grace Bible Church, Silver Lake

For more than half a century, my dad successfully hunted raccoon. Indeed, it’s no exaggeration when I say that he spent literally thousands of nights under star-studded skies. Yes, my dad not only had a passion for the solitude of a late night hunt, but also for the interruption of that same solitude with the sound of a hound either hot on a trail or barking at the tree.

I guess it’s only natural that a houndsperson and their dog come to have a unique relationship. Although my dad seldom babied his hounds, he did love them. He took care of them. And we had good dogs – dogs that were straight. By this I mean that they ran raccoon – and nothing else.

Even so, there were a few times when dad would temporarily lose one. It didn’t happen often, but it did happen. Usually it was on a windy night when the rattling of cornstalks hampered hearing them. Sometimes they were treeing on the other side of a steep hill or somewhere in a secluded brushy hollow.

When a dog was gone too long on a run, you could sense in my dad’s voice both his confidence and concern. Confidence that the hound was on a raccoon – and concern that the dog was either caught in a fence or perhaps some other hunter had picked up the dog.

On those rare occasions when a dog did have to be left behind until morning, my dad always did something before we left. He would take his jacket off and spread it out on the ground. If there was a cornfield nearby where we had initially parked the truck, he would take the coat in a couple of rows and make a comfortable nest. When Dad returned early the next morning, he would find the dog either curled up on the coat or still at the tree.

Yes, Dad’s hounds knew where they would find the one who loved them and would take care of them. In over five decades of raccoon hunting, dad never lost a dog.

In a similar way, God has also left something behind for us as humans so that we can be reunited with our Master. He left it in the Bible.

It’s not a garment, but rather, something far greater – namely, a wide trail of prophetic passages. It is information that has the power to convince and lead a person who is honestly searching for truth into a relationship with God’s Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Indeed, God purposely provided the world with a sacred stream of futuristic truth, a brook of revelation regarding the one whom Hebrew prophets and priests longed to see. It is like a river that continued to flow deeper and wider with the passing of each century until its final fulfillment in Christ.

You see, in our Bibles there exists literally scores of Scriptures which foretold such things as: where the Christ would be born (Micah 5:2), that the child’s mother would be a virgin (Isaiah 7:14), as well as the murderous decision of Herod after Christ’s birth to have all the baby boys in the vicinity of Bethlehem killed (Jeremiah 31:15).

In addition, the New Testament writings also predicted the Messiah’s ministry (Isaiah 61:1-2), abandonment by His disciples (Zechariah 13:7), casting of lots for Christ’s clothes (Psalm 22:18), the piercing of His side with a spear (Zechariah 12:10), and the resurrection of His body (Psalm 16:8-11), just to name a few.

What it really comes down to is this: if a person is looking for someone who really cares for them, the answer is to be found in the Bible. This answer was prophesied by holy men of God who were divinely directed by the Holy Spirit.

Yes, the answer is found in the person of Jesus Christ, who said, regarding Himself, “. . . the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.” (Luke 19:10)

After all, if coonhounds know where to find their master – so should we!