Friday, January 08, 2010

Thoughts on Gifts of Snakes and Fish

“He would not give me a snake when I’ve asked for a fish…”

How many times have I heard that phrase used to excuse a complacent and careless approach to the Christian life? And yet there is never acknowledgement that God has made us accountable and expects us to heed the many warnings He has given about the need to beware of the dangers of deception.

When I myself think of that statement I now always recall Israel in the wilderness. Among the many complaints they directed towards God was a mention of the lack of fish. And what was God’s response? To send poisonous snakes among the ungrateful nation!
Even when they finally repented and sought deliverance God did not remove the snakes. Instead He provided a “cure” for snake bite. Anyone bitten was required to look upon a metal snake lifted up on a pole, and in doing so the effects of the poison was nullified.

In the context of that most famous verse, John 3:16, a comparison is made between the provision of the snake on a pole with the lifting up of Jesus on the cross. While the poison of sin has not been removed from the world, God in His love provided a way to nullify the effects of its poison, through looking to Jesus and having faith in Him. Those who refuse to look to Jesus and try to overcome sin’s poison in their own strength will fall victim to their own pride and suffer the inevitable death that results from sin.

So now, what about the snake and the fish? Can we sit back and assume that God will bless laziness and complacency? Will He bless a careless attitude that ignores the very means He has undertaken to draw us and keep us close to Himself?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I read your post twice, and I agree with your train of thought.

If we become complacent, not disciplining ourselves, not being watchful, we sometimes get a lesson in family manners. Salvation does not release us from our duties.

My take on the snake and the fish is Satan will surely give us a snake if we are foolish enough to set back and believe all things come from God.