Donald Duck and Boris Quack

Who said that there were no perks to teaching Politics? I am now the happy recipient of two bath ducks, one called Boris, the other Donald. They are modelled on the respective leader and former leader of the United Kingdom and United States. Even though neither belong to a species of waterfowl, their eyes, hair and lips have all been caricatured in such a way that they may be easily recognised. I seldom enjoy the luxury of baths in the interests of economy, but my new ducky friends will be forever cherished.

Scripture not infrequently likens humans to animals, comparing some human trait to a faunal characteristic, some negative, others positive. Here are some:

We humans are like wandering, lost sheep:

‘All we like sheep, have gone astray; we have all turned to our own way’. (Is 53:6)

God’s people, despite the knowledge they have of God, are oft-times proud and unyielding:

‘The Israelites are stubborn, like a stubborn heifer. How then can the LORD pasture them like lambs in a meadow?’ Hosea 4:16.

Rich oppressors are likened to fat, indolent cows, enjoying luxurious pasture, yet still destined for the slaughter house:

‘Hear this word, you cows of Bashan, who are on the mountain of Samaria, Who oppress the poor, Who crush the needy, Who say to your husbands, “Bring wine, let us drink!” (Amos 4:1)

The Lord Jesus likened one rich oppressor, Herod Antipas, to that most violent and cunning animals, when news of his plans to kill him circulated:

And He said to them, “Go, tell that fox, ‘Behold, I cast out demons and perform cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I shall be perfected. (Luke 13:32)

Even more dangerous than tyrants are false prophets and crooked teachers, who creep into congregations, drawing followers for themselves:

“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. (Matthew 7:15)

Yet not all comparisons are negative and require us to be alert; as Christians, we share with the animal kingdom some rather fine features. We are likened to eagles, for example. Though we feel weak at times, the divine strength with which we are endowed renders us the strongest, most magnificent creatures on earth:

But those who wait on the Lord

Shall renew their strength;

They shall mount up with wings like eagles,

They shall run and not be weary,

They shall walk and not faint. (Is 40:31)

We are often like the deer, fleet of foot and light of step, ascending the headiest of heights:

He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he causes me to stand on the heights (Psalm 18:33)

Remember that Christ, too, was likened to an animal:

The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. John 1:29

Like one of those feeble, innocent looking creatures, did the mighty Lion of Judah become. What sublime condescension.