The Tortoise and the Hare: Gleaning Biblical Truths

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

(photo credit: Geoff S. via photopin cc)

Slow and steady wins the race... or so the saying goes. I can't exactly remember the day I first heard this classic fable, it's just one of those stories that most of us grow up listening to. It's like a rite of passage I guess you could say. In fact most of Aesop's fables are still being read to children around the world today. After centuries of these beloved tales being told I wonder if we've forgotten some of the amazing biblical truths expressed in more than one of these stories.

The Tortoise and the Hare has always been one of my favorites. I guess it started out that way because I love animals, but as I've gotten older certain principles from this story have caught my eye; principles that are taken straight from the Bible.

Slow and steady; determined and diligent; humble and hushed. The tortoise signifies what all men and women are exhorted to be. Upon reading it recently I noticed just how diligent and unassuming the tortoise is. His determination and perseverance to finish the race without letting the arrogant, indulgent and proud hare get in his way is his key to success. The tortoise's eyes are set firmly on the finish line and his slow yet steady steps forward keep him on the straight and narrow path.

In contrast the hare is proud, boastful and indulgent. He knows that he's quick and therefore becomes cocky in his own abilities. The hare is quick to judge the tortoise's ability as well. Hare becomes lazy and takes a nap or stops for a snack during the race since he assumes that the tortoise will never catch up to him. His gaze veers off course and the finish line inevitably is far from him. But the tortoise's diligence prevails.

God also commends the characteristics of the tortoise. Over and over in His word we find exhortations to be steady, diligent and determined for the race set before us.

The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty. Proverbs 21:5

Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin Zechariah 4:10

Those who are far away will come and help to build the temple of the Lord, and you will know that the Lord Almighty has sent me to you. This will happen if you diligently obey the Lord your God.” Zechariah 6:15

You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. Hebrews 10:36

And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. Hebrew 12:1b-2a

Our walk here on earth is likened to a race as we read in Hebrews 12. The apostle Paul also referenced this race many times in his epistles to the churches. God's word has much to say about the race we are running even today.

Just as the tortoise kept his eyes firmly fixed ahead of him, may we too keep our eyes firmly fixed on Jesus Christ. The race marked before us is one that God intends to run with us, but we must keep on persevering. Some days are easier than others for sure. Some days we may need to walk, some days we may need to run, some days we may need to crawl and some days God just carries us. But our perseverance and diligence to keep going and fixing our eyes on Jesus is what will bring us success. He's the One who will see us through to the finish line and beyond.

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4 Responses to “The Tortoise and the Hare: Gleaning Biblical Truths”

  1. Hi Gretchen-just wanted to tell you thank you so much for your sweet comment you left on my blog last week! Your words brightened my day and meant a lot to me. :) You are such an amazing woman of God and I am so grateful that our paths have crossed online!

    1. Thank you Brooke! I feel the exact same way! So grateful to have met you online as well. God bless you!

  2. Hi Gretchen! I always have to stop and ask myself if I am taking over, or letting God run my life. That hare is me sometimes. I just get full of myself and think I can do everything myself. That didn't turn out too well for the hare...and it won't turn out well for me either!

    There's a lot of spiritual truths in Aesop's Fables.
    Have a good Monday :)

    1. Hi Ceil!! Thanks so much for stopping by!! So glad to see you today. Yes, I agree. I tend to be like the hare sometimes and need to remind myself to slow down. I guess we all have that tendency a bit, don't we?
      Have a wonderful week Ceil!! Thanks again for stopping by.