By Not Known
The outdoor and the outback are every hiker’s playground. However, there are lurking dangers that one must be warned and beware of; snake bites is one of those. Knowing its danger and acquiring skills to handle it can prevent even a poisonous bite from becoming fatal. As long as we are on guard, we need not allow snakes and such to stop us from enjoying God’s beautiful creation. Besides, the “snake” was there in the beginning when Adam and Eve hiked in the Garden of Eden. They too were bitten and badly! What do snake bites have to do with our faith, from the beginning?
We are a “bitten” people – Yes! Adam and Eve were bitten by the cunning lies of the iconic serpent – Satan (Gen 3). Abraham was bitten by a fear for personal security that momentarily blinded his faith in God’s protection (Gen 12). Jacob was bitten by “innocent greed” so that he colluded with his mother in a dishonest act (Gen 27). Moses was bitten by doubt so that he allowed personal disabilities to overshadow God’s enabling (Ex 4). Saul was bitten by pride so that he acted in smug disobedience to God’s clear instructions (1 Sa 15). David was bitten by lust and murdered his general (2 Sa 11). Judas Iscariot was bitten by murderous greed and forfeited his soul (Matt 26:14-16; 27:1-5). Peter was bitten by self-preservation so that he denied Jesus three times (Lk 22:54-62). When Satan bites, God’s people are crippled with fear, doubt, immorality and many pains. Why? A snake frequently bites our Achilles heels, our weak spots! What is your “Achilles heel” that was and still is being bitten by Satan’s fangs called temptations?
The church is a beaten community – Yes! God’s people from the times of the Old to the New Testament and throughout history have always been a suffering people. Why? Jesus forewarned that God’s people would continue to suffer because of him and the Gospel (Jn 16:1-4). The Apostle Peter gave similar warnings (1 Pe 4:12-19). We are not to be surprised at painful trials; we are simply participating in the sufferings of Christ. The church in Smyrna is a good example of being afflicted and made poor by those who opposed the Gospel. Yet, we are told that the church was spiritually rich for God. Faithfulness “bites” too! Are we prepared to pay the price?
God has called his church to go into the world to proclaim the Gospel and to make disciples of Christ. Mindful that we are a “bitten” people and also a beaten community, we are to guard ourselves against sinful temptations, and also to grow in resilience so as to face challenges to the Gospel and its values.
Satan bites! Faithfulness to God bites too! Which pain would you rather suffer?