October 25, 2011
“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God?s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.”
— 1 Peter 5:6-9 (NIV)
The mere mention of snakes sends shivers down the spine of many, including myself. But when you encounter one, you have to think and act fast.
A few weeks ago, we were doing some renovation at home when the workers saw a snake in our garden. They wanted to know if I worshiped snakes. My answer, of course, was no. They helped me get rid of it, and warned me to be careful because they knew if there was one, there would be more lurking around.
True enough, a few days later, while working in the garden, I chanced on a sleeping snake. It had coiled itself in a very small space, and I had disturbed its nap. As it began to slither away, I knew I had to do something.
Acting fast, I grabbed a long-handled cutter, and hoped that my aim would be good enough to snip off its head. But it moved too fast for me. I managed to get it close to the tail end, but that was not enough to kill it!
I was aware that the snake could turn around and attack me, so I kept a safe distance, while giving it another cut mid-body. Still, the snake was not dead!
More drastic measures were needed.
I got a long-handled hoe to try to chop off its head, but it continued to moved fast. I sprayed insecticide to stun the creature and slow it down, and then moved in quickly to finish it off with the hoe!
After the adrenalin level when back down, I shivered. Was my deed daft or brave? I could have been injured if I made a wrong move. Perhaps I should have run for safety. But thankfully, I did conquer the snake ? by extraordinary courage and strength.
Since then, I?ve been very cautious and keeping an eye out for that dreadful creature?s partner.
My encounter with that snake caused me to think of the cunning serpent which tempted Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.
That serpent is called by many other names. Amongst them are: deceiver, accuser of the brethren, devil, father of lies, roaring lion, adversary.
One of Satan’s tasks is to tempt us — God?s children — and to lead us astray. Like my encounter with that slithering snake, many of us think that we are strong enough to handle the enemy alone.
Peter, in his epistle, reminded us to be on the alert. He said the devil, ?prowls about?seeking someone to devour.? If I was not alert, that snake could have bitten me. Peter also told us to ?resist him?.?
How can we resist the evil one? Peter taught — submit yourselves to the almighty God and cast your cares upon Him.
When was the last time you had a face-off with the devil? Did you win?
I trust that you found out success came only because you looked to God, and the extraordinary strength that He will give you.
The next time you face that slithering, cunning enemy, know that your victory can come only from the one who died, and rose again for us.
Thought For The Week (TFTW) is contributed by Dr Koh Siang Kiang, Associate Professor (Christian Education) at the Singapore Bible College (SBC). She graduated from SBC and Dallas Theological Seminary (DTS), USA, and has served in various ministries for more than 35 years, including teaching at DTS. Dr Koh has been with SBC for the last 10 years, and has a passion for people and teaching the Word of God. She also loves to make the Bible come alive by leading tours to the Holy Land, and has led 12 such trips. To help her relax, Dr Koh likes to cook and cross-stitch.