Beware the Serpents…
I have spent the last several days at a lodge in central Kentucky facilitating an off-site gathering for an executive leadership team. This is the third time I have been asked to join the team at this annual strategy session and it is always a time filled with massive amounts of work and deep discussions. Prior to this year’s event, it was decided that, time permitting, the group would spent some time together fishing on the lake outside the lodge in this beautiful 3200 acre compound.
Although most people go there to hunt, a sport that I don’t participate in, our group decided that fishing would be more inclusive and something that we could enjoy together. The 30 acre lake is stocked with largemouth bass, a few catfish and a number of bluegills and other baitfish. So after an early dinner on Tuesday, seven of us jumped at the chance to try our hand looking for trophy bass – bearing in mind, of course, that the fishing is all catch and release – something I strongly believe in.
The thing that surprised me is the lesson we received on watching out for poisonous snakes – something I never even thought about. To be sure, I am not a snake kind of guy – I hate the things. And I was told that the rattlesnakes were the easiest ones to deal with because they usually gave you a warning before they strike at you. It is the water moccasins and copperheads that are the really dangerous ones – they tend to be more silent as they slither along the ground in search of their prey. By the way, the lodge didn’t have any snakebite kits – but there was a town about 30 miles away that could help out if anyone got bit. This was not what I wanted to hear!
I was concerned that once we got near the water’s edge, I wouldn’t be able to concentrate on the lake – I would be too busy looking for snakes. As it turned out, we didn’t see any snakes – and that was fine with me. But I was reminded of the first verse in the Bible that references Christ – it has to do with the encounter between Satan and Christ. And that is our verse for the evening.
As you may recall in the story of the fall of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, the serpent enticed Eve to eat of the forbidden fruit that was also eaten by Adam. As a result of the sin, God put a curse on the serpent; and then also told us that women would have pain in childbirth and that man’s work would be difficult. It all started with the curse of the serpent, our verse for the evening. We are told, in Genesis 3:14-15, “So the LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, “Cursed are you above all the livestock and all the wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life. And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”
Theologians believe that this is the first reference to the ongoing battle between Christ and Satan. While Satan may nip at the heals of Christ, eventually God will prevail and crush the head of Satan. We have God’s assurance that this will be the outcome and Satan will be vanquished. My encouragement this evening is that God wants us to remember His promises to us. My prayer is that you will believe what God tells us – even if it doesn’t happen as quickly as we would like. After all, we are on God’s timing – not ours. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…