Oct
03

Two Good Rattlesnakes by Randy Rowley 10/3/18 ©

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In late March, two friends and I headed to the El Portillo Ranch near Charlotte for an FCS weekend hog hunt.  When we arrived, we were met by the outfitter, who took our money and then showed us around the ranch.

Later that afternoon, I took David Chalmers and Warren Hoke to their chosen stands and then headed to mine.  As I was driving slowly down the bumpy dirt road, I saw what I thought was a stick standing straight up about 50 yards ahead.  I was a little perplexed, as I didn’t remember the stick being there during our tour.

As I got closer, I saw that the stick was swaying a bit!  A few feet later, I realized that the “stick” was a big snake with about 1/3 of its body on the ground and the rest standing straight up.  In a few more feet, I saw that it was not one snake but two wrapped around each other like pretzels.  Finally, when I was about 20 yards away, I saw that they were two rattlesnakes.

I stopped my truck and grabbed my 12 gauge Fabarm Red Lion II from the back seat, which already had two 3-inch shells in the magazine, both stuffed with fifteen .33 00 buckshot.  The approximately 4 1/2’ long snakes were focused on each other and were utterly obliviously that death was approaching.  I chambered a round, walked up to about 10 feet from them, shouldered my shotgun, and waited until their two heads were in alignment.  One pull of the trigger, and there were two good rattlesnakes.  Usually, when I kill an animal, I eat it, but I had no intention of having them for dinner.

Some hunters have seen many rattlesnakes, but I’ve been hunting since I was 15, and only once before on a dove hunt near Coleman did I see two rattlesnakes on the same hunt, and they were a couple of hundred yards and two hours apart.

I initially thought that they were a male and a female in the act of mating.  However, Warren identified them the following day as two males.  I became a bit queasy when I realized that they might have been fighting over a nearby female rattlesnake that I hadn’t seen!

Some people have a “live and let live” attitude towards dangerous snakes, but not me.  I kill them as quickly as possible, as the person who follows me might not be as fortunate to evade the danger.  And human life is worth far more than the life of a snake or any other creature.

Jesus said in Matthew 6:26 (NLT), “‘Look at the birds.  They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them.  And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are?’”  Jesus was primarily addressing worrying, but he also reiterated where man is in the hierarchy of his creation.  He did not say that birds and other creatures were worthless, but that man was worth much more.

In the creation story in Genesis 1:26-28 (NKJV), God said, “‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”  So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.  Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.’”

When you pair “subdue” with “dominion” in this verse, dominion means the authority to rule, control, or dominate.  God created man to be the master over the earth and the rest of God’s creation.

All human life is sacred because:

  • God knew us before we were born. Jeremiah 1:5a says, “‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart.’”
  • As was previously discussed, God made human beings in his image.
  • God made us eternal beings with souls. The soul is who we are.  It is the essence of our beings.  Our souls are composed of our intellect, emotions, and will.  With our intellect, we can understand and receive God’s word.  With our emotions, we can need, appreciate, worship, and adore him.  And with our wills, we can choose to respond and surrender to him, receive him, and let him rule in us.  Jesus, when asked which is the greatest commandment, replied in Matthew 22:37, “‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’”
  • God gave us spirits. Our spirits are the human element that enables us to connect to God.  Our spirits were not something God made from the earth as God did with our bodies (see Genesis 2:7).  God, who is Spirit, gave our spirits to us as our spiritual mouths to contact and have an intimate relationship with him.  Jesus said in John 4:24, “‘God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.’”  Although we all have spirits, only believers have spirits that are alive.  Colossians 2:13 says, “You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away.  Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins.”
  • God enables us to be saved from an eternity in hell. Jesus said in John 3:16, “‘For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life’” and Romans 10:9 says, “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
  • God gives us the gift of the Holy Spirit once we repent and receive him. When asked by those who heard his sermon what they must do in Acts 2:38, “Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.  And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.’”
  • God has given us spiritual gifts. 1 Peter 4:10 (NLT) says, “God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts.  Use them well to serve one another.”
  • Jesus strengthens us and offers us abundant life, joy, and peace. Philippians 4:13 (NASB) says, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”  John 10:10b (NASB) says, “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”  1 Thessalonians 1:6 says, “You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit.”  Philippians 4:7 (NKJV) says, “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
  • God enables us to know the love that surpasses knowledge—that we may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of him and calls us his children. Ephesians 3:17b-19 says, “And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God” and 1 John 3:1b says, “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!”
  • And much more!

None of the above facts apply to reptiles, animals, birds, fish, or other creatures.  When the Bible refers to the animal kingdom, it is usually as food or as beasts of burden to ease man’s labors.  The Bible doesn’t command us to kill dangerous creatures, but it doesn’t prohibit us from doing so.  Some well know Biblical stories are those that involved a man killing a dangerous beast.  For example, Samson killed a lion by ripping it apart (see Judges 14:5-6), and David killed a lion and a bear that were stalking his sheep (see 1 Samuel 17:34-36).

We shouldn’t be cruel to the animals that God gave us dominion over.  Indeed, we are to be good stewards of God’s creation.  Proverbs 12:10 (NLT) says, “The godly care for their animals, but the wicked are always cruel.”  In Deuteronomy 25:4 (NLT), God commanded, “You must not muzzle an ox to keep it from eating as it treads out the grain.”  But we also shouldn’t elevate animals to man’s level, as many animal rights groups do.

If we’re prepared and blessed, we hunters kill some of the animals that we hunt.  There is no catch and release.  The vast majority of the time, we eat what we kill.  But sometimes, we kill an animal because of the danger that it poses to other humans.  In such cases, we usually do not eat them.

If you decide to kill a dangerous animal that you don’t intend to eat, always remember that your creator gave you dominion over them, and he put you above them in his creation’s hierarchy.

David with his hog and Randy’s rattlesnakes

Categories : Devotionals

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Bible verse of the day

Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom.

Today’s Devotionals and Blogs

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

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