“The Bristles of the Swine”

Dr. James Galyon posted a short piece on his “Two Worlds Collide” blog about Tertullian (c. 155-230), an early church father. Tertullian was discussing the persecution that Christians face in this fallen world when he said something that caught my eye,

“Nor would the devil’s legion have had power over the herd of swine unless they had got it from God; so far are they from having power over the sheep of God. I may say that the bristles of the swine, too, were counted by God, not to speak of the hairs of holy men.”

This week the little community in which I live was hit by the deaths of three of its well-known members (including my last remaining uncle), and it is comforting to know that when troubles wash over us like a storm surge, God is still ruling from His heavenly throne. If God knew the number of “the bristles of the swine” on that hillside 2000 years ago (and I believe He did), I am confident that He knows about my sad heart (and the grief of my neighbors and relatives), and is at work in us even during the midst of this dark providence in our lives.

Our lives are in the hands of the Good Shepherd, and He always does what is eternally best for His sheep. Nothing can touch us that falls outside of His loving hand, and therefore we can rest and find our needed comfort in Him.



  1. Sandra and Jack A. said,

    March 5, 2011 at 11:15 AM

    Our thoughts are with you and your family. We pray you will have our precious Lord’s comfort in you grief.
    We love you.

    • cliftonr said,

      March 5, 2011 at 11:51 AM

      Thanks, Sandra. It has been a difficult week for many here in the Sour Lake area and especially in Pine Ridge, but God’s grace is always sufficient for his children. Thanks for your prayers.

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