Here in Kentucky, cock fighting (now outlawed) has been a sport for many; bets being made with money won and money lost. The duel between the roosters goes until one kills the other.
It seems to parallel Spain’s bullfighting. There the plan is for the bullfighter to rein as victor over the bull. However, fatality befalls many a bull-fighter. To be the victor the bullfighter must repeatedly stab the shoulders of the bull as it charges by, disabling the bull to raise his head, therefore no longer able to gore the bullfighter. Accolades are delivered to him if he is triumphant. Regardless of who wins the bull is delivered to the meat market.
Repulsively sanguine, a shameful atrocity beyond measure, was the occasioned “slave fight” held in our southern states during its years of slavery. Entertained, the betting slave-owners watched two black men fight for their lives with one beaten, battered and half dead, becoming the eventual victor. He was compelled to kill his black brother. This ghastly bloody event was surrounded by jovial winners; slave-owners puffing on cigars and collecting their winnings.
Back to back, taking 10 steps then turning quickly to firing, was still going on in this part of the country a hundred years ago; an esteemed virile format to resolve a disagreement between gentlemen. Somewhat the same was the ancient Roman gladiators put in an arena to fight for their lives to entertain the crowd. All of these are life-death situations.
It is easy for each of us to of be oblivious of being in a fight-for-our-life arena. We are in a life-death duel daily. As the apostle Peter [I Peter 5:8] puts it, we face a “roaring lion seeking someone to devour.” The Bible refers to this “roaring lion” as the father of lies [John 8:44], the deceiver [Rev. 20:3], the prince of darkness [John 12:31]. The apostle Paul cautions… “do not give the devil a foothold.” [Eph. 4:27]. This Satan is depicted as conquered yet conqueror [Rev. 12: 7-10]. What is our protection? The apostle John writes, “…the word of God lives in you and you have overcome the evil one.” [I John 2:14]
Much of the world, to the devil’s delight, does not believe in a satanic power and presence; and therefore sees no need for a Divine Savior’s defense.
May the instruction for prayer given by this Savior be on our lips daily… “lead us not into temptation but deliver us for evil.” It is our choice to be slain eternally dead by Satan in earth’s arena, or to walk with the Savior into eternal life.
The Rev. John Burkhart Ph.D, is a retired Episcopal priest and professor of psychology
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