The Ermine’s Example

[465 words]

There is a unique little animal found in the forests of northern Europe and Asia. It is called the ermine. In the wintertime, the ermine’s fur turns snow-white. It instinctively protects its coat against anything that would soil it, going to great lengths to keep its fur spotless.

Fur hunters deviously take advantage of this unusual trait. Instead of setting a trap to catch the ermine, they smear the entrance of its home with grime. When the ermine, even when being chased by dogs, sees its burrow covered in filth it will not enter. The ermine’s instinct to preserve the purity of its coat is so strong that it would rather die than defile its beautiful fur.

God requires that those who would be righteous maintain themselves in purity. The people of God were told to “…make for themselves tassels on the corners of their garments throughout their generations, and that they shall put on the tassel of each corner a cord of blue. It shall be a tassel for you to look at and remember all the commandments of the LORD, so as to do them and not follow after your own heart and your own eyes, after which you played the harlot, so that you may remember to do all My commandments and be holy to your God” (Numbers 15:38-40).

When the Israelite saw the blue cord on his clothes, he would remember the holy purpose for his life and the need to keep himself pure from sin.

The vile sinner becomes clean when he puts on the Lord Jesus in baptism (Acts 22:16). The redeemed will one day wear white robes washed in the blood of the Lamb (Revelation 7:14).

The Christian is pure, even as God is pure (1 John 3:3). We are called upon as followers of Christ to “come out from among them [the world] and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you” (2 Corinthians 6:17).

Too often, it is difficult to tell the Christian from the worldly sinner. The manner of dress, the words that proceed out of our mouth, the places we are seen going to and the type of entertainment we enjoy – all of these reflect upon our purity. Although we are in the world, we are not to be of the world. Strive to “keep [yourself] unspotted from the world” (James 1:27).

The instinct of the ermine was to die rather than defile its beautiful coat. Pray that you, dear Christian, will have the spiritual fortitude to maintain your purity, even if it costs your life.

“For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it” (Matthew 16:25).

Glen Young

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