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Insight #343 – What Is an Elephant Like?

What if you had never seen an elephant – not even in a picture. Could you tell what an elephant looks like by just viewing the above photo?

The Blind Men and the Elephant
by John Godfrey Saxe (1816-1887)

It was six men of Indostan  To learning much inclined,
Who went to see the Elephant  (Though all of them were blind),
That each by observation  Might satisfy his mind.

The First approached the Elephant,  And happening to fall
Against his broad and sturdy side,  At once began to bawl:
“God bless me! but the Elephant  Is very like a WALL!”

The Second, feeling of the tusk,  Cried, “Ho, what have we here,
So very round and smooth and sharp?  To me ’tis mighty clear
This wonder of an Elephant  Is very like a SPEAR!”

The Third approached the animal,  And happening to take
The squirming trunk within his hands,  Thus boldly up and spake:
“I see,” quoth he, “the Elephant  Is very like a SNAKE!”

The Fourth reached out an eager hand,  And felt about the knee
“What most this wondrous beast is like  Is mighty plain” quoth he:
“‘Tis clear enough the Elephant  Is very like a TREE!”

The Fifth, who touched the ear,  Said: “E’en the blindest man
Can tell what this resembles most;  Deny the fact who can,
This marvel of an Elephant  Is very like a FAN!”

The Sixth no sooner had begun  About the beast to grope,
Than seizing on the swinging tail  That fell within his scope,
“I see,” quoth he, “the Elephant  Is very like a ROPE!”

And so these men of Indostan  Disputed loud and long,
Each in his own opinion  Exceeding stiff and strong,
Though each was partly in the right, And all were in the wrong!

“All of the Above”

“Each was partly in the right, and all were in the wrong!” Be it an elephant or the Bible, many true concepts are actually erroneous when other aspects are ignored.

Which characteristic correctly describes God:
patient, consuming fire, jealous, love, holy, just, practices vengeance, or forgives?
Answer: all of the above – plus more: (2 Peter 3:9; Heb. 12:29; Ex. 20:5; 1 John 4:8; Isa. 6:3; Rom. 3:26; Rom. 12:19; Ps. 103:3).

Which term correctly describes Jesus:
Savior, Lord, Judge, Mediator, died for our sins, only way to the Father, King of kings, or Prince of peace?
Answer: all of the above – plus more: (Acts 13:23; Rom 13:14; 2 Tim. 4:1; 1 Tim. 2:5; 1 Cor. 15:3; John 14:6; Rev. 17:14; Isa. 9:6).

Which one correctly describes what we should do:
not judge, judge, feed the hungry, continually pray, be baptized, believe, assemble, or forgive?
Answer: all of the above – plus more: (Mt. 7:1; Jn. 7:24; Mt. 25:34-42; 1 Thes. 5:17; Acts 2:38; Jn. 3:16; Heb. 10:25; Mt. 6:14).

Never let one truth blind you to other truths.