We all love our dogs. Well, most of the time. They can drive us nuts, but we usually enjoy telling the stories of how they drive us nuts. Not many of us realize how God connects our love for Him to the way dogs act. We know we behave like sheep, but dogs!?
Several years ago I did a study on the word ‘worship’. I discovered that one of the common Greek words for worship was ‘proskuneo’. This word is made up of two Greek words. ‘Pros’ simply means toward, forward, or pertaining to, while ‘kuon’ means dog — the noun, a hound, the animal, dog. The ‘eo’ at the end makes it an action verb. Most commentaries indicate worship is the action of a dog in submission to his master as in laying or bowing at his feet and licking his hand. That certainly is one definition of how a dog behaves toward his master.
However, most dogs I’ve owned didn’t behave that way on a regular basis. Instead, they go nuts when I walk in the room. They run to me, sometimes they jump, they get excited, and they are generally thrilled to be around me. They want food, want play, or just want attention. How many of us love to be greeted by the dog when we come home from work, because it’s just pure devotion? Have you ever noticed that with some dogs, you get the same enthusiasm if you’ve been gone five minutes or five hours? Dogs delight to be in the presence of their masters and they show it with their whole bodies. I believe that is the true expression of worship.
Are you delighted with the presence of your Lord? Are you ready to dance, and without embarrassment, when you know He is near. Of course, we can bow quietly in complete submission, but we can also jump up and down for joy.
Another place where dog is mentioned in the Bible is when Mephibosheth is brought to King David and is sure that David will kill him, because he is the last descendant of Jonathan. Mephibosheth said, “What will you do to a dead dog such as I?” He had been crippled years before as the family sought to flee after hearing that both Saul and Jonathan had been killed by David’s men. The young boy was raised fearing for his life if David should ever find him, and sure enough, David found him. David was not planning to kill him, though, for he had entered into a blood covenant with Jonathan. That meant that all the one had belonged to the other and vice versa. David longed to find Jonathan’s offspring to show kindness and continue the covenant. He had Mephibosheth move to the palace and eat at the King’s table as his son. Lands and servants became his. All those years in hiding, thinking he was a dead dog, when he really was the King’s son.
How many of us have thought God was angry with us, that He would just as soon get rid of us as be bothered by us? We think we are dead dogs in His sight. In reality, God loves us, wants to show kindness to us, and wants us to live in His presence on a daily basis?
Maybe this is why dogs are man’s best friend, because man is God’s best friend. Let’s act more like our own dogs rather than dead dogs. God loves you more than you love your own dog, so be free to dance and jump and worship with all that you are. God will enjoy it as much as you.