Hidden Danger by Randy Rowley 2/20/10 ©


On a hot morning in late September, my brother, Mark, and his father-in-law, the late Scotty Scott, and I headed to a large field that contained some sunflowers near Charlotte, about 45 miles southwest of San Antonio.  The dove were spotty, but there were enough of them to keep us from falling asleep.  After a couple of hours, several dove landed about 250 yards away from us at the Southwest corner of the field.

I don’t usually stay put when dove aren’t regularly flying where I’m hunting, and I see them flying more frequently elsewhere, so I soon headed towards that corner.  I walked along the edges of the field, using the mesquites and oaks that ringed the field for cover.  As was my habit, I focused on the sky in front of me and to my left and right.

With only about 75 yards to go, I was interrupted by the unmistakable sound that a rattlesnake makes when it wants to warn something that it’s nearby and alarmed.  Things then happened very quickly.  I immediately located the western diamondback (or Texas diamond-back) rattler, less than a foot away from my right leg.  In less than a couple of seconds, I jumped upwards, backward, turned 90 degrees clockwise, and shot the snake twice with my shotgun before I landed.  It was one of those “kill or possibly be killed” moments, and I chose to be the one doing the killing.

Even when I was skinny, jumping was never my forte.  However, on that day, Michael Jordan would have been impressed!  Adrenaline is one of God’s greatest gifts.

The 3 ½-foot-long rattler was not in cover.  It was on the edge of the field, very much in the open.  What made it hidden was that its coloration closely matched the dark plowed ground, and I was focused upwards, not downwards.  I had been concentrating on the sky so intensely that I didn’t notice the danger at my feet.  (I now walk around while dove hunting very differently – focusing on the ground more than the sky.)

In Texas, we have nine species of rattlesnakes, three species of copperheads, western cottonmouths (aka water moccasins), coral snakes, mountain lions, black bears, wolves, coyotes, bobcats, the Texas grizzly (feral hogs), alligators, several species of dangerous sharks, Gila monsters, black widow and brown recluse spiders, scorpions, killer bees, and wasps, but encounters with and attacks on humans by any of those critters are rare.  We come across and are attacked by the western diamondback rattlesnake far more often.  And it kills more Texans than any other dangerous critter.

An old poem says that boys are made of “snakes and snails and puppy dog tails,” which implies that boys like snakes, but I’ve never cared for them – especially venomous ones.  Most of us fall somewhere between disliking and loathing them.

Our first encounter with snakes didn’t go well for us.  Genesis 3:1-5 says, “Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made.  He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”  The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.'”  “You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman.  “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

You’re probably very familiar with the rest of the story.  Eve ate the fruit and gave some to Adam, who was there all along, and he ate too.  Then they realized that they were naked and made clothing for themselves.  Later, God walked about in the garden looking for Adam and Eve, who were hiding.  Adam responded to God and then spilled the beans.

Before God judged Adam and Eve and cursed the rest of his creation, he judged the snake.  Genesis 3:14-15 (NLT) says, “Then the LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, you are cursed more than all animals, domestic and wild.  You will crawl on your belly, groveling in the dust as long as you live.  And I will cause hostility between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring.  He will strike your head, and you will strike his heel.’”

Snakes are our ancient enemy.  Although the snake in the garden didn’t strike Adam and Eve, he proved deadly nonetheless.  Our first encounter with them left a bitter taste in our mouths.  Over the years since then, they’ve killed thousands of us, and we’ve killed millions of them.

Some people today share Adam’s and Eve’s doubts.  They think they can pick and choose which scriptures are accurate and which have errors, and which Bible stories are real and which ones are fictional.  They believe verses that make sense to them or that make them feel good and reject the rest.  Their beliefs are based on their wisdom instead of what God said.

They say, for example, “I can see how Jesus fed 20,000 people with two fishes and five loaves, but I can’t buy that a great fish swallowed Jonah and he lived” or “I like what Jesus said about serving others, but the verse about turning the other cheek has got to be an error.”  People who think that the Bible has errors will start picking and choosing what they believe about Jesus’ virgin birth, teachings, miracles, sinless life, death, resurrection, and ascension.

People today who act on their doubts or don’t act because they have doubts will face penalties, just as when Adam and Eve acted on their doubts, resulted in consequences.  John 14:5-6 says, “Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”  Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’”  If people doubt that Jesus is the only way to come to the father and refuse to accept him as their Lord and Savior, they will consequently spend eternity in hell, apart from him.

2 Timothy 3:16 says, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.”  All, not some, scripture is inspired by God.  It is the highest authority in all matters of doctrine and faith.  To doubt scripture (God’s words or inspired words) is to doubt God.  Adam and Eve doubted God’s word, resulting in disaster for them and the rest of God’s creation.  For us to doubt God’s word will also result in disaster for us.

There is indeed a hidden danger that we encounter every day.  Unfortunately, Satan doesn’t have rattles on his tail to give us warnings.  However, by being constantly alert that Satan is continually working to cause us to doubt the inerrancy of God’s word, we can crush his schemes.

Categories : Devotionals

Bible verse of the day

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Today’s Devotionals and Blogs

Kent Crockett’s blog – www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com

Mark Dillow’s blog – http://noclearline.blogspot.com/