Living near the river, I am fortunate to see a lot of wildlife. Foxes, hawks, eagles, falcons, skunks, etc. frequent my yard. A few days ago, I happened to be walking through my living room and looked out the window. What I saw was something I have never seen before in all my years of living here, even with the amount of animals I see on a regular basis. I truly believe with all my heart this was a word from God.
I have been dealing with a situation in my life for over 10 years that has yet to change. Praying, reading my Bible, seeking God about this is a constant in regards to this issue. I have sacrificed over this more times than I care to count. I have looked at my own sin in this issue, and yes, there has been sin on my part. I have confessed it and repented of it. But there comes a time when enough is enough, and God shows you exactly what you need to see to have that moment of clarity.
This is the image I saw when I looked out the window.
That is a falcon eating a pigeon, even though there isn’t much left to the pigeon. For some reason, as gory as this image is, I was mesmerized. After watching this unfold for what seemed like a long time, I heard this-
“This is your situation. You are the pigeon. You are being picked at and plucked at on a daily basis. Eventually…there will be nothing left.”
Talk about a visual! All I could think to say back to God was “Yes, you are right.”
Romans 12:18 says- If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.
I know with everything I am, I have given my all in this situation. But the Bible also says things like this-
2 Timothy 3:1-5 says- But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people. (I understand the scripture says people, but I believe it applies to certain situations in our lives also.)
Matthew 10:13-15 says- If the house is worthy, give it your blessing of peace. But if it is not worthy, take back your blessing of peace. “Whoever does not receive you, nor heed your words, as you go out of that house or that city, shake the dust off your feet. “Truly I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city.”
I read different commentaries on this passage about what ‘shaking the dust off your feet’ means, and the conclusion they all come to can be summed up here-
“The very dust of a heathen country was unclean, and it defiled by contact. It was regarded like a grave, or like the putrescence of death. If a spot of heathen dust had touched an offering, it must at once be burnt. More than that, if by mischance any heathen dust had been brought into Palestine, it did not and could not mingle with that of ‘the land,’ but remained to the end what it had been – unclean, defiled, and defiling everything to which it adhered. This will cast light upon the meaning conveyed by the symbolical directions of our Lord to His disciples (Matthew 10:14), when He sent them forth to mark out the boundary lines of the true Israel – ‘the kingdom of heaven,’ that was at hand: ‘Whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.’ In other words, they were not only to leave such a city or household, but it was to be considered and treated as if it were heathen, just as in the similar case mentioned in Matthew 18:17.” (Edersheim, Sketches In Jewish Social Life, ch.2; cf. The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, Vol.1, pp.643-44)
Are there times we turn the other cheek? Absolutely. Are there times we are called to be a light in a dark place? Yes! However, when God sends such a clear message as this after many years of praying and fasting, it is very clear to me that it is time to walk away. Even Jesus and the apostles did so at times.
John 8:59 says-At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds.
For me, it is time to slip away and shake the dust off my feet.