Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan is a tremendous book. It’s an allegory of the Christian’s life from salvation to heaven (“The Celestial City”). In the book, there is a scene where Christian Pilgrim is attempting to climb the way to Porter’s Lodge Up ahead he can see two lions crouching at the edge of the path. What Pilgrim doesn’t know is that the lions are chained, and if Pilgrim stays in the middle of the path, he will not be harmed by the lunging lions. Here is the excerpt:
Now before he had gone far, he entered into a very narrow passage, which was about a furlong off the Porter’s lodge, and looking very narrowly before him as he went, he espied two lions in the way. Now, thought he, I see the dangers that Mistrust and Timorous were driven back by. (The lions were chained, but he saw not the chains.) Then he was afraid, and thought also himself to go back after them; for he thought nothing but death was before him. But the Porter at the lodge, whose name is Watchful, perceiving that Christian made a halt, as if he would go back, cried unto him, saying, Is thy strength so small? Mark 4:40. Fear not the lions, for they are chained, and are placed there for trial of faith where it is, and for discovery of those that have none: keep in the midst of the path, and no hurt shall come unto thee.
We ourselves are pilgrims in a strange land. Our way is clear because, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” (Psalm 119:105). The way is lit by His word and it is made clear, but it is a narrow way. Take care to stay on the middle line of that Way, dear friend, as I strive to do myself. And look, see what good promises are ahead for His people the Jews and those of us grafted in!!
The Ransomed Shall Return
1The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad;
the desert shall rejoice and blossom like the crocus;
2it shall blossom abundantly
and rejoice with joy and singing.
The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it,
the majesty of Carmel and Sharon.
They shall see the glory of the LORD,
the majesty of our God.
|Pink flowers bloom after a rare rain ignited seeds
that had lain dormant in the desert for years.
3Strengthen the weak hands,
and make firm the feeble knees.
4Say to those who have an anxious heart,
“Be strong; fear not!
Behold, your God
will come with vengeance,
with the recompense of God.
He will come and save you.”
5Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,
and the ears of the deaf unstopped;
6then shall the lame man leap like a deer,
and the tongue of the mute sing for joy.
For waters break forth in the wilderness,
and streams in the desert;
7the burning sand shall become a pool,
and the thirsty ground springs of water;
in the haunt of jackals, where they lie down,
the grass shall become reeds and rushes.
|Rushes thriving by a pond. EPrata photo|
8And a highway shall be there,
and it shall be called the Way of Holiness;
the unclean shall not pass over it.
It shall belong to those who walk on the way;
even if they are fools, they shall not go astray.
9No lion shall be there,
nor shall any ravenous beast come up on it;
they shall not be found there,
but the redeemed shall walk there.
The redeemed shall walk there. A promise we can cling to, hope on, and await expectantly. How beautiful the feet…
How beautiful upon the mountains
are the feet of him who brings good news,
who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness,
who publishes salvation,
who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.” (Isaiah 52:7)