[CF Devotionals] 2011-07-01 - Warnings from the Animals

Part 3

Bears

The bear offers us a third warning. Let us look at a story in 2 Kings.

2 Kings 2:23-24
  1. And he went up from thence unto Bethel: and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head.
  2. 24 And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the LORD. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them.

Elisha, the man of God, had just finished fixing a water spring - doing God's work for God's people and there was a group of kids hanging around. I don't know if Elisha was Kojak bald or comb-over bald but these youths started teasing him about being follicly challenged. It upset him and that upset God. God sent two bears that came and knew how to flat out throw down and they tore up some boys, 42 of them. The bears teach us not to pick on God's servants.

I know there are many Sundays when the number one meal for many families is roast pastor. As soon as people get out the doors they want to tear into the pastor, the special singer, that awful person who dared to have a crying child in church, or maybe just Mr. You-know-who who's done you know what but had the nerve to show up in church. We need to remember the bears and not prey on the people of God. I've read that gossip is the devil's radio and so many of use have that station preset.

Snakes

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 1760's and 1770's, 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
  1. 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.
  2. 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 2 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. 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 that shovel up 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 snakes warning and not mess with God.

Closing

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.

IHFHBOH
Adam

[email adam] adam@cfdevotionals.org
http://www.cfdevotionals.org

All scripture references from KJV unless otherwise noted