[Papercut Press] 2000-08-21 - Hug A Snake

Psalm 38:18 I confess my iniquity; I am full of anxiety because of my sin.

Joseph Meade tells a story about a woman he knew, with whom he was walking in a beautiful garden. There was one bush in the garden that had its branches bending under the weight of the fantastic roses that were on it. One flower stood out from all the rest. The lady reached far into the bush to pluck the flower. As she did so a black snake, which was in the bush, wrapped around her arm.

She was upset beyond all description. She ran, screaming, nearly in convulsions. The entire rest of the day her body trembled and it was quite some time before she could be calmed. She developed such a hatred of all snakes that she could never even look at one, even a dead one. No one was ever able to pursued her again to reach into a bush and pluck a beautiful flower.

Now this is a story that many, I am sure, can feel similar to in their own hearts. The fear of snakes is great with many people. However there is much more here than simple agreement that snakes are frightening for some. There is, here, a parable.

The woman, who stretched out her hand into the bush toward a beautiful flower, did so for the last time. Why? Because she was repulsed by the outcome. This is how the sinner feels about sin that has truly been repented for. It is like a snake coiled around our arms. The sinner hates the sin. The sinner flees from the sin. The sinner keeps away from the things that might lead to the sin again.

As the woman kept her hand back from bushes, the repentant sinner keeps away from the places where sin lives and thrives. The repentant sinner is as likely to play with sin as this lady would be to play with a snake.

This is because sin is a great evil to God. The reason I keep using the words repented sin, is because repented sin implies that the person who has repented and confessed the sin understands the great offense and dishonor sin is to a holy God. The repentant sinner wishes to no longer offend a loving and merciful God and so he/she seeks to live a life that is pleasing to God. It may mean that we give up some beautiful roses along the way, but in so doing we prepare ourselves for roses even more glorious in heaven.

"Sin casts contempt on the majesty and greatness of God....While sin is harbored and preserved alive, it tends to provoke God to frown and express his anger. Sin is God's mortal enemy." Jonathan Edwards

Soli Deo Gloria,