From Where I Stand: Dog Days

The dog days are upon us as temperatures have soared into the triple digits for more than a month and rain has been nothing more than a distant rumor. Forecasters indicate a hint of relief is out there, but without any guarantees. These dog days of August can be a Sirius-ly miserable experience. We tend, however, to adore our pet dogs, but they had a far less noble reputation in Bible times. It was dogs who encompassed the psalmist (22:6), licked up the blood of King Ahab (First Kings 22:38), and refused to bark a warning when Israel was threatened (Isaiah 56:10). Jesus employed the canine metaphor as well, warning his disciples not to feed them holy morsels they could not digest (Matthew 7:6), nor to throw the children’s bread to the ones under the table (Matthew 15:6-27). In his story of the rich man and Lazarus, the dogs make a cameo appearance by licking sores (Luke 16:21). To the apostle Paul, dogs represented the habits of the false, Judaizing teachers (Philippians 3:2), and to John, they were symbolic of the ultimate outsider, having no access to the tree of life or the city itself (Revelation 22:15). If all dogs go to heaven, it will have to be by some other means. Five weeks until autumn!