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Confessions of a Poacher

Dr. Rakow shown with a truly legal buck taken on a public hunting ground (1996).

      Stepping out of the county courthouse, my eye caught something suspicious.  There, next to the car, stood a stranger examining the deer tied to my trunk.   A troubling thought quickly surfaced, "What if it's the game warden?"
      You see, the same whitetail I was transporting with an archery tag on its leg had actually been shot with a twenty-two caliber rifle the day before.  And the reason for coming to the courthouse was a way to cover up my wrongdoing.  Having misplaced a portion of my archery license, I needed a duplicate.  Now with a replacement license in hand, the deer could be "legally" registered.  However, the sight of this middle-aged man (who was evidently not a warden after all) pricked my already guilty conscience.  The words of the wisdom writer rang true, "The wicked man flees though no one pursues." (Proverbs 28:1a)
      Sadly, this was not the first, nor would it be the last, deer I poached.  Although many years have now passed since that incident took place, it's still hard to believe I could be so brazen.
      Sin is covered a lot of ways in our day.  Sometimes it's the worker who calls in sick -- when he or she is not, the taxpayer that purposely fails to record extra income on their return, or the hunter who inappropriately fills that tag of a hunting companion.
      Whatever the case may be, the fact is nothing is hidden from God's eyes.  The Bible says, "The eyes of the Lord are everywhere, keeping watch on the wicked and the good." (Proverbs 15:3)  King David asked, "Where can I go from your Spirit?  Where can I flee from your Presence?" (Psalm 139:7)  Indeed, nothing gets past God.  He sees all!  He hears all!  He knows all!  
      But the good news is God forgives sin.  Even a murderer (such as King David) found grace in God's eyes.  The Lord still has a lot of work to do in my life.  I'm not perfect, but I am forgiven.  And, if the Lord was willing to forgive me for a multitude of sins, He will also forgive you! 
© 1996 Dr. Tom C. Rakow (all rights reserved)

This devotional is published in Devotions for Hunters and Anglers.