On the Wolf and the Lamb

Ambrose Andreano
The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb,and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. (Isaiah 11:6)

Who is the wolf except he who sheds blood and destroys souls, to get dishonest gain?[1] And false prophets, which come “in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.”[2] And who is the leopard except they who are “accustomed to do evil?”[3] And who is a young lion except all they who roar against the people of God,[4] and that man who “shall not lie down until he eat of the prey, and drink the blood of the slain?”[5]

The Scriptures say, “the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.”[6] And how do we trample the young lion except by loving our enemies, blessing them that curse us, doing good to them that hate us, and praying for them which despitefully use us, and persecute us?[7]

When transgressions are many, and backslidings increased,it can be said that creation itself “groaneth and travaileth in pain,”[8] and the lions, wolves, and leopards of this world can be said to watch over the cities and spoil them.[9] Surely the leopard cannot change his spots by himself, and yet the spotted vessels of this world who are named “leopards” are called to call upon the name of the Lord and purge themselves of these very spots to work good. As the Scriptures say, “If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work."[10]

And how is it that the wolf is prepared unto every good work in order to dwell with the lamb? The answer is this: For the wolf to dwell with the lamb, both sides of a conflict must believe themselves to be the wolf and not the lamb. For this is the path of humility; the confluence of all ways to the Kingdom, and the means by which "Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven"[11] is accomplished. Scripture asks, "Can two walk together unless they be agreed?[12] For there is a kind of lamb and wolf that exists truly, and a kind that exists only in perception. For example, an oppressed party may well be called "lamb," but the perpetrator too will see themselves as lamb, even though they may truly be wolves. The true lamb will then become the wolf to convert the wolf. As the apostle says, “To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.”[13] The secret to unity is for all to identify with the wolf and to pray as a thief: "May God remember this wolf in His Kingdom." This is how the wolf will dwell with the lamb, that all grow to become sheep for the Good Shepherd.

And who is the lamb and the fatling except He who was slain?[14] And who is the kid except He whose garments are dipped in blood?And who is the little child except all they who are children in malice because Christ has been formed in them?[17]

May all we who live among the beasts make our dwelling with Christ.


[1] Eze. 22:27.
[2] Matt. 7:15.
[3] Jer. 13:23.
[4] Cf. Jdg. 14:5.
[5] Num 23:24.
[6] Psa. 91:13.
[7] Cf. Matt. 5:44.
[8] Rom. 8:22.
[9] Cf. Jer. 5:6.
[10] 2 Tim. 2:21.
[11] Matt. 6:10.
[12] Amos 3:3.
[13] 1 Cor. 9:22.
[14] Rev. 5:12, cf. 1 Ki. 1:9-25.
[15] Cf. Gen. 37:31, Rev. 19:13.
[16] 1 Cor. 14:20.
[17]  Cf. Gal. 4:19.

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