One of the oceans most fearsome creatures is the Great White shark. It is one of the most finely tuned killing machines on earth. The author of the book Jaws tells of an amazing experience with this animal. He was viewing Great Whites off the coast of South Africa on a charter tour led by shark expert Andre Hartman. They find their designated spot, and Andre lowers a bait attached to a rope over the stern of the boat. When the distinctive fin of the Great White breaks the water Andre starts slowly pulling in the rope, until the passengers on board can see the bait, and then the unmistakable shape of the Great White. Hartman then lifts the bait aboard and kneels down on the wood square that sits just above the water between the two outboard motors. Just as the head of the shark reaches the back of the boat Hartman plunges his hand into the water and cups the snout of the Great White with its hand.

The spectators on board have their hearts in their mouths. Any moment they expect to see Hartman disappear over the end of the boat, dragged into the water by this hungry, angry shark. But instead they see the sharks head angle back. It sits there quietly in the water, it’s mouth open, its razor sharp teeth showing, and Andre’s hand nestled under its nose, just centimetres from those enormous teeth. And there it remains till Andre removes his hand and it sips back into the water.

No one knows why the shark responds like this. Andre Hartman discovered it by accident one day while trying to fend off a shark. But whatever the reason this fearsome predator is tamed.

When Scripture speaks of spiritually evil beings such as demons and the devil they appear to us much like a Great White – awesome, powerful and terrifying predators, able to gobble us up at ease. 1 Peter pictures Satan as a roaring lion. Yet we soon discover that in the hands of God these spiritual beings can be tamed just as Andre Hartman tamed that Great White. Similarly, when the Scripture speaks of God’s people, inhabited by God’s Spirit, dealing with spiritually malignant beings, it pictures the ease at which this is done. There are no magic tricks, elaborate incantations or difficult rituals. Simply choose God’s way over the ways of evil and “the devil will flee”.

Source: based on an article in Readers Digest February 2001.

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