Thursday, January 06, 2005

DISCERNMENT: Blind cave salamanders & other sightless, lightless things!

For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins.
2 Peter 1:9
There exists in our south central states (Missouri, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Texas), a troglodytic (cave-dwelling) salamander, which is blind and virtually colorless: where its eyes ought to be are two black dots. In the Ozark variety, eyelids do develop but promptly fuse over eyes that do not function. Most remarkably, when raised in ambient light the salamander’s eyelids degenerate even more abruptly.

The Ozark variety was the first such blind cave salamander to be found in North America. All varieties of the Typhlomolge Rathbuni appear to be on an endangered species list somewhere.

In our text, Peter is writing of the fruitful life in Christ Jesus we ought to have; he offers virtues we should add to our character in order to possess this life.
“He writes of faith, virtue, knowledge, self-control, patience, godliness, and brotherly kindness. He concludes with charity, or love, Christian love, which is completely unselfish love.

"Without these characteristics, says Peter, the professed Christian is as totally unable to discern spiritual things as the salamander is unable to discern physical things.” [James A Tucker]
Man living without these virtues is a man living in darkness. Over an extended period of time, man’s spiritual eyes have grown shut, his heart-eyes degenerating to the point of being non-functioning. The first sightless human was found in the Garden of Eden; but praise be to God, all varieties are on the Lord’s endangered species list.

See also - Follow the Bouncing Ball

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