When a Snake is a Snake

A young girl walking along a mountain path to her grandmother’s house heard a rustle at her feet. Looking down, she saw a snake, but before she could react, the snake spoke to her. “I am about to die,” he said. “It’s too cold for me up here, and I am freezing. There is no food in these mountains, and I am starving. Please put me under your coat and take me with you.”

“No,” the girl replied. “I know your kind. You are a rattlesnake. And if I pick you up, you will bite me and your bite is poisonous.” “No, no,” the snake said. “If you help me, you will be my best friend. I will treat you differently.”

The young girl sat down on a rock for a moment to rest and think things over. She looked at the beautiful markings on the snake and she had to admit he was the most beautiful snake she had ever seen. Suddenly, she said, “I believe you. I will save you. All living things deserve to be treated with kindness.”

She then reached over, put the snake gently under her coat and continued toward her grandmother’s house. Within a moment, she felt a sharp pain in her side. The snake had bitten her! “How could you do this to me?” she cried. “You promised that you would not bite me, and I trusted you!” “You knew what I was when you picked me up,” he hissed as he slithered away.

“Dear friends, don’t be surprised when the fiery ordeal comes among you to test you, as if something unusual were happening to you”. (1 Peter 4:12).

I still marvel at Christian brothers and sisters on Facebook bemoaning the continued decline of our nation and culture. With each new “outrage” we wring our hands and call for measures to return us to our former greatness as a country. We seem to be utterly perplexed as to where all of this is originating. We blame immigration, corrupt officials, ultra-liberal politics, a broken education system. My question is why should Christians be so shocked and mournful over current events? We know the root cause; it’s central to the message we’re supposed to be proclaiming.

The problem is sin; outright rejection and rebellion against God. The world mocks and rejects that answer, which is what the world does. Why does that surprise us? Paul identified the problem in Romans 1:

“For though they knew God, they did not glorify him as God or show gratitude. Instead, their thinking became worthless, and their senseless hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools…And because they did not think it worthwhile to acknowledge God, God delivered them over to a corrupt mind so that they do what is not right”. (Romans 1:21,22,28).

Paul tells us God built plenty of evidence of Himself into the creation so that even those who had never heard or read the Bible could still recognize and believe in him. But because of the effects of sin, humankind chose to reject God and as a result he turned them over to their own devices and faulty thinking. What we’re seeing today is just the full-blown result of that.

When we reject God we become servants of Satan; there is no other alternative. And the only “wisdom” we can derive from Satan is all based on lies, because that’s the only language he’s capable of speaking. Those who reject God and follow Satan are easy to identify:

“For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, proud, demeaning, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, without love for what is good, traitors, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to the form of godliness but denying its power. Avoid these people.” (2 Timothy 3:2–5).

The world is going to act like the world. It can’t act in any other way, and why we’re surprised when it does still amazes me. A snake will always act like a snake, because that’s what it’s designed to do. Those who have abandoned God will always act in ways that violate his wisdom and what we consider ‘common sense’. Having said all of that, you’re certainly welcome to voice your opinions about current events; I’ll take no offense. Just don’t be so surprised when the world insists on getting crazier. We follow One who has overcome the world.