Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | August 30, 2017

Of Minnows and Men

(2 Minute Read)

BibleScienceGuy with a string
of four 16-inch lake trout

Early last Saturday morning well before the sun rose, my friend Greg and I ventured out in a small boat onto a vast, dark lake. We planned to persuade some fish from the lake to join us. We were seeking fish companions in water that ranged from 90 to 120 feet deep.

Shortly after sunrise — the first that I had seen in years — we invited our first fish into the boat. He was a 16-inch lake trout, the perfect size for eating . . . but we didn’t tell him that.

The fish, whose name I neglected to get, preferred swimming alongside the boat on a stringer over joining us in the boat, so that’s what we did with him.

In the next few hours, we went on to invite four more lake trout into the boat. One was slightly under the 15-inch minimum for boat rides, so back into the lake he went. But the other three joined the first on the stringer, swimming contentedly alongside the boat.

You might be wondering how we persuaded these fish to join us. Was it simply due to our warm affability or to our upstanding characters or to our understanding of fishiness?

The secret lies in this passage from Psalm 111:
Great are the works of the Lord;
They are studied by all who delight in them.
Splendid and majestic is His work,
And His righteousness endures forever.
He has made His wonders to be remembered;
The Lord is gracious and compassionate.
(Psalm 111:2-4 NASB)

The five lake trout joined us due to my friend’s understanding of fishiness. Greg has spent years studying fish, one of the Creator’s great works. Greg wants to know the ways of fish so he can persuade them to bite a slender piece of metal and join him in his boat. He drops a sharp barbed hook and drags it through the water. The line is adorned with shimmering and fluttering bangles to attract the attention of fish.

Greg has a relief map of the bottom of the lake and knows the right underwater cliffs to troll. Wriggling minnows worked well for bait. We took turns reeling in the fish while the other man scooped the hooked fish out of the water with a net once we got it alongside the boat.

Out on the lake other boats were not having the success we enjoyed. Greg tried to share some tips to help some young men, but they were not open to his advice. They went home empty-handed.

We split the four 16-inch lake trout between us. My wife and I ate fillets for lunch only a few hours after they came out of the lake. They tasted superb, far better than store-bought fish.

In our four hours on the lake, we landed five fish, of which four were keepers. This meant there were long periods with no bites. I couldn’t help thinking of Jesus’ disciples fishing on the sea of Galilee all night long with no success until Jesus appeared (Luke 5:4-11; John 21:1-12).

Jesus showed those expert fishermen that He knew how to fish. Through Him they changed from fishers of fish to fishers of men.

Greg studied fish to learn how to catch them. Even so must Jesus’ followers study God’s greatest work, mankind, to understand how to persuade men to join Him.

Questions to Ponder

1. As a “fisher of men” (Matthew 4:18-22), what bait do you find most effective?
2. What great work of the Lord do you most enjoy studying (Psalm 111:2)?

Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

Soli Deo Gloria.

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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
“for the defense of the gospel”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16)
Wednesday August 30, 2017 A.D.

Now as Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers, Simon who was called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. And He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Immediately they left their nets and followed Him. (Matthew 4:18-20 NASB)

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