Hebrews 12:1-2 - Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
The book of Hebrews speaks of Noah as being a hero of faith, and so he was.
His dedication to following the Lord's plan to save humanity and begin again in a new world is an incredible act of commitment. Even so, there are times when I wish Noah and his crew had squished the ark's two mosquitoes.
Since Noah did not take those two swats you have to look pretty hard to find a place where the mosquito isn't a nuisance. In many locations the mosquito can rightly be called "public enemy number one." That's because there are a great many places where the sneaky beasty is downright deadly.
Last year, in the U.S. of A, mosquitoes were responsible for sharing, and spreading, the Zika virus, dengue, malaria, the West Nile virus, yellow fever, and chikungunya.
Anyone who has dealt with the mosquito, or knows about the illnesses it transmits, is usually acquainted with the preventative measures that can be used. You know -- vaccinations, repellants, sprays, and fogs. It seems, no matter how hard we try, the mosquito still manages to do his thing.
At least until now.
You see, Australian scientists have successfully managed to wipe out more than 80 percent of the disease-carrying mosquitoes in experimental Queensland locations. This they did by breeding 20-million mosquitoes and infecting the males with a bacterium which made them sterile.
When the males were released they didn't bite or spread disease, but when they mated with females, the eggs didn't hatch, and the mosquito population dropped like a stone. If the same simple program proves to be effective elsewhere, the world could be changed and millions of lives could be saved.
You know, when sin entered this world it proved itself to be far more deadly than the bite of any disease-carrying mosquito. In reaction and to combat the terrible effects of sin, humankind invented all kinds of philosophies, religions, and programs to try and find peace and harmony.
While some of those solutions were noble, none of them had the ability to exterminate sin or modify its consequences.
That is the way things would have remained if God had not decided to bring about a fundamental change. So that we might be saved from sin's deadly outcome, the Heavenly Father sent His Son into this world. Here Jesus lived a perfect life, resisting every temptation, declining all seductions to sin. To a cross He carried our sins; on that cross He suffered and died.
His third-day resurrection from the dead is proof that He is the cure, the medicine who has eliminated our fate and saved us from the sting of sin and death.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, grant that I may look upon the cross and empty tomb as Your plan of salvation which has forgiven me and all who are brought to faith in the Redeemer. For the life Jesus has won for me, may I be truly grateful. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
The above devotion was inspired by a number of sources, including one written by Jessie Yeung for CNN on July 10, 2018. Those who wish to reference that article may do so at the following link, which was fully functional at the time this devotion was written: https://www.cnn.com/2018/07/10/australia/australia-mosquito-disease-experiment-intl/index.html
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
To Download Devotion MP3 to your computer, right click here and select "Save Link As" or "Save Target As" or "Download Linked File As"