A very Happy Chinese New Year to all our readers. The RABBIT will reign in the new year of the Chinese calendar. Of course, I do not believe in the zodiacs, whether western or eastern, to be the controlling agent of our lives. I am just making use of the occasion to write about the RABBIT.
Some notable characteristics of the RABBIT:
1. LONG EARS
Rabbits are known for their long ears, but the long ears of rabbits aren’t just for looks. Their ears can rotate 270 degrees to help the rabbit monitor its surroundings.
Ears are for hearing. Jesus says: “If any man have ears to hear, let him hear” (Mark 4:23). Our ears are important because faith comes by hearing the word of God (Romans 10:17). Let us take heed of what we hear: do we listen to the truth? (Deuteronomy 4:1). Let us take heed also of how we hear: do we listen to the truth attentively? (Luke 8:18).
2. STRONG HIND LEGS
Rabbits have strong hind legs that they use for hopping. Their hind legs are so strong that they can jump between two to four feet up into the air, and up to 9 feet across.
Legs are for walking. Do you have strong legs? You will, if you wait on the LORD: “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31).
“To wait on the LORD” means to hope, to anticipate, and to trust in the LORD. This requires faith, patience, humility, meekness, long-suffering, keeping the commandments, and enduring to the end.
3. HIGH REPRODUCTIVE RATE
Rabbits are known for their extremely high reproductive rate. A rabbit’s gestational period (the period during which they are pregnant) is only 30 days. The babies stay in the nest for about three weeks, after which the female can reproduce again.
God wants us to be fruitful in His kingdom (John 15:8). The first-century Christians were fruitful, in that they went everywhere preaching the gospel: this resulted in many conversions (Acts 6:7).
Jesus warns that “Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire” (Matthew 7:19). He commended two servants because they were fruitful in His kingdom (Matthew 25:21, 23). Are you fruitful in God’s kingdom?
4. CONTINUOUSLY GROWING TEETH
The rabbit’s teeth never stop growing throughout the rabbit’s life. The incisors can grow up to 2.4mm per week, and the cheek teeth grow up to 1mm per week.
Christians must never stop growing. What are the areas that we must grow in?
i. In Faith (Luke 17:5; Colossians 2:6, 7).
ii. In the Spirit (Hebrews 6:1)
iii. In the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18).
iv. In the Christian graces (2 Peter 1:5-7).
v. In devotion (Psalm 1:2).
vi. In service to God (1 Corinthians 15:58).
5. PANORAMIC VISION
Rabbits have a nearly panoramic vision, which means they have a nearly 360-degree view of almost everything around them. Their only blind spot is a small area right at the end of their nose.
Some men are short-sighted. Leaders need to be visionary. They need to see 360 degrees, and not just things in front of them. They must have a world view of evangelism. Despite persecution, the early Christians went everywhere preaching the Word (Acts 8:4).
We cannot save the world by staying at home. Our vision should not be just on the local congregation, but on the kingdom of God: “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15). Can you see the lost souls living in other parts of the world?
Rabbits are social, playful pets. They enjoy each other’s company. Rabbits make good companions. As you get along with them every single day, they begin to trust you, accept you as a part of the family, and will become more loving to you as their owner.
Are you a good companion? Some people are difficult to get along with. As Christians, we should be the best companions to be around with. When Saul was slaying the priests of Nob because they helped David, Abiathar escaped and came to David. David said to him: “Abide thou with me, fear not: for he that seeketh my life seeketh thy life: but with me thou shalt be in safeguard” (1 Samuel 22:23).
Let us be a friend like David.
7. GENTLE AND PEACEFUL
Do rabbits bark? Do they roar? Rabbits are one of the most gentle and peaceful creatures.
Are you gentle? Jesus says: “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God” (Matthew 5:9). Children of God ought to be gentle and peaceful: “And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient” (2 Timothy 2:24).
Rabbits can be litter trained. On average, it only takes about 1-2 weeks to train a pet rabbit to use a litter box.
Are you teachable? Do you accept corrections? Solomon says: “Whoso loveth instruction loveth knowledge: but he that hateth reproof is brutish” (Proverbs 12:1). “Brutish” means “stupid, a fool.”
Acts 18:24-28 introduces us to a man named Apollos. He was an eloquent man and mighty in the Scriptures. But his knowledge about salvation was out of date. He was still teaching the baptism of John. Aquila and Priscilla corrected his error. He listened and changed. He began to preach about the baptism of Jesus. Apollos was teachable.
If you think you know all the doctrines, you are unteachable. Every good teacher is a continuous student of the Bible: “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15).
May we be like the RABBIT in its listening power, strength, fruitfulness, vision, friendliness, peacefulness, and teachableness.
“That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God” (Colossians 1:10).