Sickleback

Not to be confused with the popular Pampano fish, the Permit is a rare and quite sought after catch for anglers alike. During my time of study, I learned that its name means sickleback. Their dorsal and anal fins look like that of a sickle tool -  a farming device used for harvest or reaping. Immediately, I pictured in my mind a man swinging this large tool back snd forth cutting down that which was harvested. Then I thought about the Bible. How God’s word is sharper than a double edge sword -- dividing asunder of soul and spirit. {Hebrews 4:12}
In Paul’s letter to the Corinthians he tells us that God is our harvester. In Ephesians 6 it we learn how as followers of Christ we should put on the full spiritual armor of God. Why? Because what we war against in our life is not the seen but the unseen. We fight against evil agendas and spirits. God gives us the proper tools to be ready to protect ourselves against them. Lastly, Paul instructs us to be armed with the sword of the spirit which is the word of God.  Circling back around to the first chapter of Ephesians Paul references the Word and the Spirit. It says we find the word in Jesus.  It is the good news which brings salvation. With Salvation comes the Holy Spirit.  In John 4 we learn to worship in spirit and truth.  We can’t truly have one without the other, can we?  God's truth is knowledge but it is the Spirit that brings life to that knowledge.
I have always loved the story of the “Walk to Emmaus” found in Luke 24. Two men we’re walking to Emmaus from Jerusalem after Jesus died - about 7 miles. During this three hour trek, they carried with them saddened and confused spirits about the death of Jesus. Some time into the journey, a man came alongside them inquiring about the inner turmoil that was obvious in their demeanor.  They told the traveler that Jesus, their foretold king, had died. The man began teaching about Jesus and the truth that was written about Him in Scripture. The men listened intently for the 3-4 hour walk. It it wasn't until later when they realize the traveling man was Jesus! Isn't ot interesting how with the truth of Jesus they had fully come to understand life. The men gave account then said, “Did not our hearts burn within us?" Truth is, they were spirtually off course.  But Jesus stepped in and offered the truth which in turn brought forth life and set them on the course of righteousness.
God created the Permit fish with a dorsal and an anal fin. Because of the flat body, these fins give the fish stability, keeping them from toppling over easily. The permit (God’s creation) and it’s sickle back is a good illustration of the Sword of the Spirit. God’s word will always keeps us spirtually stable and prevent us from veering off to wrong paths which brings harm and death. God's Word will forever protect, prune and bring forth life -- life everlasting.
Written by Glenn and Heather Lamp, 2020

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