This post is part of the weekly series, “His Encouragement: Thursday Thoughts to Strengthen Your Soul.”
So the Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, Cursed are you above all livestock and all wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life.
The most dangerous snake is the one you don’t see…
When I was a young girl, my grandmother kept a beautiful garden. The flowers and the shrubs surrounded our home and I loved to play outside near the sweet-smelling flowers. One hot summer morning, I was outside playing and enjoying the sunshine. My grandmother had been working outside weeding the flowerbed that morning, so I was not surprised when I noticed that she had left the garden hose laying on the sidewalk.
“I want to help grandma,” I said to myself. “I’ll just wind that hose up and put it away for her.”
I’ve always been very near-sighted and had vision problems, but as I approached the hose, I noticed that it looked different from a normal hose. It was a slightly strange color and a lot skinnier than a normal hose. Without stopping to think about it, I reached down and my fingers brushed against something smooth and scaly.
Suddenly, I realized that I was touching a snake!
I yelped and jumped back. I had startled it awake and it quickly slithered away. In hindsight, I think the snake was probably more scared of me than I was of it.
I ran into the house and told my grandparents what I had seen. “There was a huge snake in the garden!” I said. “It was terrifying!”
My grandmother did her best to soothe me. “Calm down,” she said. “It was probably just a little garden snake. I’ve seen one a few times myself. They aren’t poisonous.”
“It was still really scary!” I insisted.
“John, tell your granddaughter to calm down,” said my grandmother.
My grandfather was a man of few words. He was also a very wise man. He thought for a long while before he said, “Your grandmother is right. That snake probably wasn’t poisonous—but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t dangerous. Even a small bite can become infected.”
“I’m glad it didn’t bite me!” I said.
“Just be more careful in the future,” said my grandfather, “You learned an important lesson today. The most dangerous snake is the one that you don’t see. The snake that you don’t see is the one that bites you.”
Christ Conquers the Serpent
In Genesis, we hear a story about another snake in a garden. We are told that the serpent was “more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made (Genesis 3:1).” The serpent tempted Adam and Eve to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. He lured them with half-truths that they didn’t realize were dangerous. He tempted them, saying that if they ate the forbidden fruit, they would be “more like God, knowing good and evil (Genesis 3:5).”
On the surface, this sounds like a good thing. We should all work to be more Christ-like. Jesus was the perfect example of love incarnate. They did not realize that they were being tempted to commit the sin of disobedience to God. We fall into sin when we do not realize that we are being tempted. The most dangerous temptations are the ones we don’t even see coming.
Much later in the history of the world, Jesus came as a second Adam to conquer sin. When Satan tempted Jesus in the dessert, Jesus said to him, “Away with you Satan! For it is written, “Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him ( –Matthew 4:10). When Christ died on the Cross, Satan was defeated.
We must be vigilant, because we might not realize when Satan is tempting us. The most dangerous temptations are the ones that don’t look like temptations. The most dangerous sins are the ones we wander into unaware. Christ gives us the power to overcome the temptation of sin in our own lives.
This post is part of the series, “His Encouragement: Thursday Thoughts to Strengthen Your Soul.”
Now, it’s your turn! What Scripture verse is inspiring you this week? Let me know in the comments below!
Thursdays are always a really long day of the week for me. As a pastor, Sunday feels like the natural beginning of my week. By the time I get to Thursday, I am tired and drained. That’s why I’m excited to join with a group of blogging friends in order to offer you a weekly devotional which will be posted every Thursday.
Please be sure to check out the other great bloggers involved in the His Encouragement weekly series!
Leslie @ Words of Hope