Once Upon a Time: The Three Little Pigs

  Inspirmedia   Feb 17, 2013     0 Comment

February 17, 2013

Bible Text: Psalm 27:5 |

Theme Scripture:

(Psalm 27:5 NIV)

For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent and set me high upon a rock.


Our new series: "Once Upon a Time”. Fairy Tales and Tall Tales and the wonderful stories of childhood that many if not most of us grew up on. And some of us are now enjoying again with children or even grandchildren. But let’s be clear about this as we begin – we’re not having this series because these stories have messages about Jesus imbedded in them. There’s not some sort of subliminal messaging going on here. In fact, I would venture to say that there is nothing in any of these stories about Jesus at all.

Hmmm. So why are we doing Once Upon a Time then? Well, just this – as Jesus walked along the road in the springtime and saw a field full of lilies, they were not Christian lilies or non-Christian lilies. There was no writing from God on the lilies. God wasn’t sitting in the midst of the lilies waiting to talk to people. No one else in fact saw anything about God in the lilies. They were just there. Part of the scenery. But Jesus used them to teach truth about God. And that’s the key. Jesus turned this neutral thing, lilies, into a teaching tool. He told stories about the lilies.

NIVMatthew 6:28 "And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

And so we’re going to use Fairy Tales and Tall Tales and just plain old fun tales like Jesus used the lilies. As a teaching tool. As a springboard to consider truths about God. As a parable. An earthly story with a heavenly meaning.

Our first tale is The Three Little Pigs. I’m guessing that at least some of you remember how the story begins. There are these three little pigs – we have no idea where they came from or whatever – they just are. Three little pigs, who can talk and sing and dance, no less. For reasons unknown, they are all building themselves their own houses – perhaps they had a fight the night before or whatever, although they all seem quite happy and at peace with one another.The first little pig is building a house of straw. It goes up fairly quickly, giving him plenty of time to sing and dance. The second little pig is building a house of sticks. It too goes up fairly quickly, giving that little guy almost as much time as the first to sing and dance.

But then there’s the third little pig. He’s a party pooper. He’s not into singing and dancing. He’s into wearing overalls. He’s into building a strong and firm house of brick and stone. He’s keenly aware of the need for a strong house … because the wolf if lurking in the woods, just ready to come and pounce on the little pigs. Mmmm. Bacon! My favorite food next to … bacon! But, as they say, who’s afraid of the big bad wolf …

1.5 Video 

(1 Peter 5:8 NIV)

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

Well, a roaring lion is a good image for this, but so is a drooling wolf. It seems that God has led us to this sort of thing a number of times over the months, this unwelcome idea that there is a wolf out there and he is trying desperately to blow our house down. It’s not a welcome idea; it’s not a pleasant thought, but it is reality. And as we enter the season of Lent, this 40 day journey toward Holy Week, toward the cross, and ultimately toward the empty tomb on Easter, as we enter Lent it is very important that we understand reality.

Yes, we are tempted by our own sinful desires that live inside of us. Yes, we are tempted by the things of the world, whether good things that draw us away from God or whether evil things that are just plain wrong no matter which way you look at them. But we are also tempted by the devil. And he does not simply want to hurt us just a little bit here or a little bit there. He wants to blow our house down.

(John 10:10 NIV)

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy

Well, let’s pick up where we left off with our story…

1.5 Video 

(Matthew 7:15 NIV)

"Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.

Notice a few things here: first off, notice the fear in these two pigs. In fact, I’ll give you a hint here – these two pigs never get over their fear. Never. They sometimes act like they’re not afraid, but as soon as even a hint of the wolf shows up, they’re back to cowering under the bed with their little fannies twitching in the air.

Sometimes I notice that we Christians get like that around Satan. In fact, I was going to share some Scripture here where Satan got the best of some people, but I decided not to share it because of that very fact – a lot of us are afraid of the devil. And I must be honest with you, I get scared too. When somebody calls me up and tells me that they need me to come over cause they’ve got some weird stuff going on, well, how do I say this appropriately … I need to push myself out the door and get over there … but it’s not something I like doing. And I must say, there’s reason to fear. The devil is not someone to be trifled with. The wolf is stronger than the pigs and Satan is stronger than you or me.

I’m going to let that thought lie for a moment, and we’ll pick up on the "fear” issue a little bit later. But there’s something else here – something I mentioned as I read the words of Jesus from Matthew 7 about wolves in sheep’s clothing.

It’s not often that the wolf just walks up to a house and blows the thing down. So far we’re 50/50, but that percentage is about to go down. More often than not the most effective way for the wolf to get things done is to disguise himself. As a sheep. As a Fuller Brush salesman. As anything but a wolf. Because, well, who is just going to stand there and open the door for the wolf? Most people have better sense than that. So he’s got to disguise himself as something, as anything but a wolf. So while the devil may prowl around like a roaring lion,

(2 Corinthians 11:14 NIV)

Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.

Or a sheep. Or a Fuller Brush salesman. Or anything that looks good, anything to whom we will open the door. Anything that seems right. Take the very best thing. Take love. Beautiful in all its splendor. And watch the devil clothe himself in something like love. And what do we wind up with? Something attractive and beautiful … now all twisted and painful. Distorted. Mis-directed. Selfish. What does the song say? Love Hurts.

So beware. Even of those good things in life. Check under the sheepskin. Make sure you’re dealing with a real live sheep and not a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

1.5 Video 

(Psalm 57:1 NIV)

Have mercy on me, my God, have mercy on me, for in you I take refuge. I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed.

(Isaiah 25:4-5 NIV)

You have been a refuge for the poor, a refuge for the needy in their distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat. For the breath of the ruthless is like a storm driving against a wall and like the heat of the desert. You silence the uproar of foreigners; as heat is reduced by the shadow of a cloud, so the song of the ruthless is stilled.

(Proverbs 18:10 NIV)

The name of the LORD is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.

I love that verse. What a powerful picture. The name of the Lord is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.

(Psalm 27:5 NIV)

For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent and set me high upon a rock.

Those other two pigs never do get over their fear, do they? They may be pigs, but they don’t strike me as Christian pigs. They’re not like the pig in the overalls, that’s for sure. Maybe they’re Christian pigs, but don’t understand the power that is available to them, the security that is available to them. I don’t know. They certainly don’t get reality: The name of the Lord is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.

The point is simple: God is a reliable refuge when we are being pursued by Satan. Don’t trust yourself. Trust in the Lord.

It’s what Jesus Himself did when Satan was running Him down. Just after He was baptized, Jesus spent 40 days fasting and praying in the wilderness, getting ready for His public mission. At the end of that time, when physical weakness and hunger had set in, the devil came to Him, prowling around like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour, sneaking up on Him to blow His house down. Notice how Jesus took refuge in the powerful word of God.

(Luke 4:2-13 NIV) 

The devil said to him, "If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread." Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Man shall not live on bread alone.'" The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him, "I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. If you worship me, it will all be yours." Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.'" The devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. "If you are the Son of God," he said, "throw yourself down from here. For it is written: "'He will command his angels concerning you to guard you carefully; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.'" Jesus answered, "It is said: 'Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'" When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time.

What do we take away from this story of the Three Little Pigs?

Well, first of all, a magnet for your frig. We have one per family, so please get … one per household … and limit yourself to one. It’s a reminder to you that God is the one who keeps us safe. The name of the Lord is a strong tower!

Second, there is a wolf out there and he is seeking to blow your house down. If you wonder why life can be tough sometimes, wonder no longer. The bad guy is real, and he’s bad, and he’s real bad. And I don’t mean that in a good sense. He is seeking to devour you. As you wander through life, there is a spiritual battle going on. Watch for it, and watch out for him.

Third, there is a need to fear – you better hide under that rug or under the bed or under something. If you are going to try to live life on your own, good luck. Your life is going to get blown away. You can sing "who’s afraid of the big bad wolf” all day, but when the wolf comes knocking, if you’re on your own, you are going to be afraid, and well you should.

But as the angel said to those shepherds on the hillside back in December, "fear not, for I bring you good news of great joy.” Yes, it’s true. There is no need to fear … the name of the Lord is a fortified tower. God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in the time of trouble. Trust Him. But please, don’t wait until the day of trouble to trust Him; don’t wait until the day of trouble to know Him. It is obvious that Jesus spent a lot of time with His Father, He spent a lot of time in the word of God … so that when the wolf came to blow His house down, He was prepared; He was ready. So trust Him daily: He will keep you safe in His dwelling; He will hide you in the shelter of His sacred tent and set you high upon a rock.

Let’s pray …

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