Children's Bible Ministry of Connecticut, USA

The Rhinoceros

Standing in the wilds of east Africa, he looks every inch of him like a monster. He is five feet, six inches at the shoulders and twelve feet from the tip of the nose to the root of the tail. He weighs more than a ton. He looks solid, but he is a nervous wreck with a nasty, unpredictable temper. His legs appear ridiculously short for his great body. His half-inch-thick skin sags loosely across his frame. He has a keen sense of smell and acute hearing, but his eyesight (like his intelligence) is exceedingly dim.

rhino5.wmf (10648 bytes)The black rhinoceros is amazingly agile. He can leap from a lying down position in the twinkling of an eye, charge at 30 miles per hour, and scramble up steep rocky slopes like a mountain goat. Rhinos charge at anything, even passing trains. However, this is an uneven match; the train usually wins!

Oddly enough, the rhino is considered the most easily tamable animals in Africa. Once penned, he soon becomes so gentle that he will eat out of his rhino2.wmf (16950 bytes)keeper=s hand. Captive rhinos will come on call to have their ears rubbed, and some will roll over to have their stomachs scratched. The only problem is the rhino=s bulk. If he should lean against you playfullyCwell, uh, never mind!

The big event in the rhino=s day comes soon after sundown, when he spends several hours at the water hole. This is the only time that he appears even faintly rhino3.wmf (3454 bytes)happy. He will romp around playfully, then wallow in the mud and massage himself against the trees and rocks. Then serious dining will take place as he barges through the bush like a bulldozer, eating like a vacuum cleaner. He eats leaves and buds from trees and shrubs. Even sharpest thorns are consumed with relish (relish?).

The rhino has but one friend, the tick bird, that rides on his back and picks ticks from his hide. It also stands guard warning of approach while the rhino sleeps.

Some people are like the rhinocerosBthick skin, bad temper, pushing their weight around, dimly seeing the good in others. Big bullies are what they are, with few if any friends. They think they show lots of power by making others afraid of them. I hope you are not like that.

God says that the really powerful people are those who can control themselves. God tells us in Proverbs 16:32 AHe that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.@ The man or woman, boy or girl who is slow to get angry is better than a mighty person, and one who can rule his own temper is better than a conqueror.

The Lord Jesus Who had and has all power, demonstrated this in His wonderful ability to control Himself always. AI am meek and lowly,@ He said. Real power is to exercise self control.

The rhino has one thing going for him. He can be easily tamed. We need to yield ourselves to the living God, allowing Him to be Lord, so that He can tame and use us. How tamable are you?


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