A few summers ago, my friends and I were relaxing at my parent’s lake house. It had been a casual day of sun bathing and swimming with no regard for the impending storm on the horizon. Eventually, the sun became clouds and we decided it was time to retire. As we followed my dogs up the dock ramp, there it was: A huge snake!
The snake was in the water in striking position! Out of sheer terror, we scooped up the dog closest to us and ran to the boat. In all the panic, my tiny Chihuahua had managed to sneak away and go investigate the situation. He pranced right up to the shoreline and the snake was only a few feet away. His entire life flashed before my eyes. Finally, he seemed to lose interest in his pursuit and returned to me on the boat.
“Be shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.”
The world is full of snakes, do not be misled. The master serpent is leading them and guiding them in ways of deceit and destruction. While the presence of these creatures is nothing new, their schemes and trickery are always developing. Do you know of any snakes in your life?
The interesting thing about God’s command is that, upon an encounter with a devious snake, we are not called to react with vengeance. We are not called to supersede their deception and make them appear as fools, no, we are told to act innocently. We are to teach ourselves, make our minds aware of their deceptions and strategies so that we may not fall victim. In other words, investigate the situation. Our awareness must measure up to one who is against us, but our character and behavior must measure up to the One who made us.
Chris Tiegreen says that our attitudes are at war with a conniving enemy; our behavior must refuse to engage him. Is this not where we struggle?