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Lessons from a Rock Badger

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Lessons from a Rock Badger

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God inspired everything in the Bible for a reason. In Proverbs 30:24-28, there are four creatures that God says are exceedingly wise. One of those is the rock badger. “The rock badgers are a feeble folk, yet they make their homes in the crags” (verse 26).

The rock badger, also called the hyrax, dassie, cape hyrax, doop and rock rabbit, is a rare animal that lives primarily in parts of Southern Africa and the extreme west part of Asia. It is a curious little creature that has features that are a mix of other animals. It has the incisors of a rodent, the molars of a rhino, the vascular system of a whale and the feet of an elephant (not the same size, just in type). The rock badger is an amazing little creature that has been created with many interesting features and abilities that allow it to live a full life in its rocky habitat. What can we glean from this animal that God says is exceedingly wise?

Help, safety and protection come from God

The rock badger makes its home in crags and crevices of rocky outcrops and cliffs. Such a home is ideal for it, as it is slow-moving and a natural target for predators. Its inhospitable environment, however, ensures that enemies keep their distance. The home of the rock badger also provides ideal protection from wind and rain. For these reasons, the rock badger spends most of its time in its rocky home. The only time it usually leaves is when it goes out looking for food or for bathing in the sun.

Scripture describes rock badgers as “feeble folk” (Proverbs 30:26). The words here for “feeble folk” are the Hebrew words lo am and mean, among other things, “no person” or “no people.” In other words, the rock badger is a “nobody.” But even though the badger is feeble and basically a “nobody,” it knows where to go for its protection: its rock. In the same way we as Christians are generally considered nobodies by this world’s standards, but we need to always remember where we should go to our best place for protection and safety: our Rock, Jesus Christ, and God the Father. Throughout the Bible Christ is referred to as our Rock and our fortress—as we sing in the hymn “God is My Rock, My Salvation.”

We read in Psalm 18:2-3: “The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised; so shall I be saved from my enemies.” There are many other scriptures like this showing how God is the One we can go to for protection and help.

God’s Word and His Spirit help us discern

One of the greatest threats to the rock badger comes from the black eagle. Circling high above the rocks, the eagle is able to make out the shapes of the badgers basking on the rocks in colonies. But getting this animal into his stomach is no easy task for the bird. 

The rock badger has amazingly keen eyesight. It can detect movement up to a mile away. Even if the black eagle is up against the sun the badger will spot it because the eyes of the rock badger are equipped with a special membrane that filters the rays of the sun. The badger can look directly at the sun with no adverse effects. So, when it sees its sky-high enemy it immediately lets out a warning signal—a sharp bark. The rocks are then cleared as the badgers stop what they’re doing and disappear into the protection of their shelters. 

In the same way, we need to have keen spiritual eyesight, and have the ability to spot our enemies, even if they’re trying to hide in the light. 2 Corinthians 11:13-15 speaks of false teachers and prophets: “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.”

We need to have the spiritual perception to be able to tell the difference between truth and error, and as the rock badger has that membrane to filter and discern what it sees, we can use God’s Word, along with the power of God’s Holy Spirit, as filters to help spot our enemies and discern right from wrong.

We need community and help from one another

Rock badgers live together in communities. As well as affording them protection from enemies, this gives the animal protection from the cold. Rock badgers will huddle together for warmth, sometimes even lying one on top of the other, often three or four layers deep.

There aren’t rock badgers who “go it alone.” In the same way we as Christians need each other for encouragement, help and sometimes a shoulder to lean on. That’s one of the reasons it’s so important for us to attend Church services regularly. Because after all, we are brothers and sisters. We have a lot of enemies out there so it’s good for us to stick close together to encourage each other and help each other out when we need it.

We read in the Psalms, “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” (133:1). In Hebrews we’re instructed to “[not forsake] the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching” (10:25).

Other notable parallels between the rock badger and our walk

The rock badger is easily tamed. In other words, it’s humble. How about us? Is it easy for God to work with us? Or do we make it hard on ourselves by resisting God?

The rock badger is constantly grooming itself, and keeping its area clean. The hind foot, in fact, has a claw that is specially designed for grooming. But it should also remind us of self-examination—constantly looking at ourselves and asking God to create a clean heart in us and to clean us up from our faults, sins and weaknesses.

Rock badgers feed twice a day, and can eat a colossal amount of plants and vegetables, gobbling them up at an amazing speed. In less than an hour they can take in a massive amount of nutritional greenery which is then processed by a digestive system which has been described as “unique in all the animal kingdom.” How frequently do we feed on the Word of God?

Finally, the badger’s feet give it the incredible ability to scale rock formations that are almost perpendicular. The thick, soft soles can form into friction pads and perspire to provide extra traction. Sometimes we face trials that almost seem too hard to overcome, like we’re facing a perpendicular brick wall. But just as God has given the rock badger what it needs to scale difficult formations, so God also gives us everything we need to overcome our trials in life.

As we continue striving to learn God’s way and preparing to be born into the Family of God at the return of Jesus Christ, let’s apply what we’ve learned about the rock badger so that someday God might also call us exceedingly wise.

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