[CF Devotionals] 2019-07-12 - Warnings from the Animals

Originally Published 2011-06-01
Part 4

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Now to introduce the fourth animal, let me tell you a story ripped from the pages of American History, to help you remember this creature. Back in the 1760s and 1770s, a young America was beginning to form. Perhaps partly due to a cartoon by Benjamin Franklin, a decade earlier in the French and Indian war, a man by the name of Gadsen created a flag for the new fledgling Navy and Marines, when they were first created for the war against the British. The flag consisted of the words "Don't Tread On Me" and a rattlesnake. The original yellow Gadsden flag and the flag officially adopted as the first Navy Jack were warnings to the British. The snake had 13 rattles, one for each colony, proclaiming, "Go away. Don't mess with us. We will strike back!" Snakes are not to be messed with. They won't start the fight - but they will finish it.

Numbers 21:5-6 (KJV)
5 And the people spake against God, and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no bread, neither is there any water; and our soul loatheth this light bread. 6 And the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died.

The people fussed and cussed not just God's man, Moses, but God himself. We're not supposed to do that so some snakes came to help those Israelites see the error of their ways. Snakes are good reminders. You don't forget things like snakes too quickly.

I remember, last summer there was a snake over in one of our beds. First day I saw it, I didn't think much of it. Then I saw it the next day in the same spot, not too far from our front door. I headed to the shed to get a shovel. Jordan, at the time, was three and was apt to try to march right over and try to play with it. I didn't care what kind it was; I knew it was black and evidently fast since it got into its hole for two days more before I could get the shovel out to it. And that 3rd try, I got it - but almost wished I hadn't. I got just enough of its tail to evidently make it think less of running away and more of heading towards me. Luckily, I had it pinned, and hadn't totally severed the end of the tail. There I stood. I couldn't kill it by removing the last few inches of its tail, but I darn sure wasn't about to pick up that shovel, to try a second stab. It was wiggling all around that shovel, showing its nice long fangs. And there I stood keeping that shovel perfectly still just a hollering, "Dana. Dana." Seemed like nearly an hour went by, although it was probably more like a minute before she poked around the corner. "Go get me another shovel, and hurry!" Three days later, she comes back with one. It was a flat head shovel. I suppose I should have been thankful that at least it wasn't one of Jordan's beach shovels. I stabbed at it and got 6 inches or so behind the head. It was still wiggling, so I figure maybe I ought to get it again… and then again and again. So then I gathered up all 50 of the inch-long snake pieces and threw them in a ditch in our woods. I don't think snakes should be messed with. They definitely shouldn't be taken lightly, and so the snake is a warning not to take God lightly.

An anonymous teenage girl is credited with having said, "God is not an optional extra; He's an absolute must." That he is. We need him; he does not need us, and that is why we should take the snake's warning, and not mess with God.


Lion, tigers, bears, and snakes - these are all animals to be taken very seriously. The roar of the lion, the growl of the tiger and bear, and the hiss of the snake should all be warnings of danger. The dangers to avoid are very real.

Do not take Satan lightly.

Do not fall prey to legalism and false gods.

Do not insult the people of God doing his work.

And do not mess with God.


[email adam] acdum@hotmail.com

All scripture references from KJV unless otherwise noted

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