On The Hunt!

When Janet and I first moved to Northwest Wisconsin we did not appreciate, at that moment, the level of excitement and involvement in fall outdoor activities such as hunting, especially deer hunting. Before Pastor Ben and Lydia were our youth pastors, there would be quarterly gatherings for the youth who were part of the church and youth from the surrounding communities. I remember asking many of the teenage girls who attended if they like to hunt and with rare exception, almost all of them said yes. The amount of camouflage worn by the boys and girls during our youth events should have been the biggest clue about teen participation as it relates to hunting. I also learned shortly after this gathering the Maple school district has a week off during the peak of the hunting season. In all my years of ministry I had never heard of a week off from school for hunting as part of a public school calendar. Obviously there are a number of good reasons to allow young people the opportunity to experience the outdoors and being involved with family and friends in a hunting expedition. I understand also that families depend upon the meat, and appreciate that in Northwest Wisconsin hunting is more than just a sport, it is part of the fabric of life. Since moving here I would say the same about gardening, canning of produce and other preserving to sustain families throughout the year. It’s very commendable of families who live in this beautiful part of Northern Wisconsin to be so resourceful.

As we consider what it means to be “On the Hunt” we realize there is a lot of preparation and strategy which goes into a successful outing. As we read through the Scriptures we see many references to hunting and hunters. One of the first references is found in Genesis 10:8-9 it reads, Cush was also the ancestor of Nimrod, who was the first heroic warrior on earth. Since he was the greatest hunter in the world, his name became proverbial. People would say, “This man is like Nimrod, the greatest hunter in the world.” As we consider this season of life in Northwest Wisconsin we understand and appreciate the need for knowledge, safety and training to experience an effective hunt. Nevertheless we should never forget according to the Scriptures, the Devil is out there prowling around seeking whom he may devour. He is on the hunt. This concept of the hunt is a double edge sword which swings both ways. Sometimes we are the hunter, and at other times we are the hunted. Kendra asked me last Tuesday during morning prayer to read from Ephesians 6 which details the whole armor of God. The last part of the passage says to stay alert, or be alert, because the Devil is trying to capture us, ensnare us, and cause us to fall into a trap. Never forget, the Devil comes only to steal, kill and destroy. As much as we are excited about the hunt, never forget there is an adversary who is looking for his own “trophies”.

Congratulations to those at Hawthorne Assembly who have been successful during this archery season. I have seen some great pictures on Facebook of recent and memorable hunting expeditions. God has populated the earth with amazing creatures which provide nourishment and many other resources. So with great respect and appreciation, we understand the magnitude of what it means to be “On the Hunt.”

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