Bite the dust

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It’s a euphemism for death, but these days we rarely talk of people “biting the dust” – not in a final sense anyway.

We might say that a plan or project has bitten the dust.  But describing a person’s death as biting the dust seems the preserve of tough-talking cowboys.

The exact wording – bite the dust – is found nowhere in the bible.  Yet it is thoroughly biblical in origin. This is because the phrase depends on a whole biblical theology of dust and eating.  Let me explain:

In Genesis 2, man was made from the dust.

In Genesis 3, man listens to the serpent (i.e. Satan) and so must return to dust.

And Satan is cursed to eat dust all his days (Genesis 3:14)

Thus Satan is set up as a maneater (1 Peter 5:8)

Yet Christ will join man to crush the maneater (Genesis 3:15)

How will He do this?  Incredibly, by being Man eaten (John 6:51)

Only in this way does He swallow His enemies (1 Corinthians 15:54)

Now those who don’t eat (with) Christ get eaten (Revelation 19:18)

But those who do eat Christ join Him in crushing the maneater (Romans 16:20)

Therefore Satan will eat dirt all the days of his life (Micah 7:17; Revelation 20:10)

And all those who follow him will likewise “lick the dust” (Psalm 72:9)

[The Messiah’s] enemies will lick the dust.  (Psalm 72:9)

So then the Christian can do their own John Wayne impression.  Because of Christ’s victory we can use some very tough talk on Satan.  We can say:

“Eat dirt man eater!  There’s one Man you couldn’t swallow.  He’s swallowed you.  Our food will be the Man eaten.  And you will bite the dust forever.”

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