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


On a Friday in late March, David Chalmers, Warren Hoke, and I headed to the El Portillo Ranch near Charlotte (about 45 miles south of San Antonio) for an FCS semi-guided hog hunt.  David Smith, the owner of Texas Wild, met us when we arrived.  After settling up, he showed us the ranch.

Later that afternoon, I took David and Warren to their chosen stands.  I then headed towards mine.  As I was driving down the dirt road, I noticed a stick standing straight up about 50 yards ahead.  I was a little perplexed, as I didn’t remember it being there earlier.

As I got closer, I saw that the stick was swaying!  A few yards later, I saw that the ‘stick’ was a big snake with about half its body on the ground and the other half standing straight up.  I realized it wasn’t one snake but two intertwined in a few more yards.  Finally, I determined they were rattlesnakes when I was about 20 yards away.

Some hunters have seen many rattlesnakes, but I’ve been hunting since I was 15, and only once before, during 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 stopped my truck and grabbed my 12 gauge Fabarm Red Lion II from the back seat, which already had two 3-inch shells stuffed with 00 buckshot in the magazine.  The approximately 4½-foot-long snakes were utterly involved with each other and were oblivious 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 creatures, I eat them, but I had no intention of having those vipers for dinner.

I initially thought they were a male and female in the act of mating; however, Warren identified them as two males the following morning.  Their ‘combat dance’ (as it’s sometimes described) was probably for the right to mate with a nearby female rattlesnake I hadn’t seen!

Many people have a ‘live and let live’ attitude towards venomous snakes, and some love them, but not me.  I’ll kill one as quickly as possible, as the person who follows me might not see it and evade the danger.  And a person’s life is worth far more than a snake’s or any other creature’s.

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 didn’t say that birds and other creatures were worthless, but, in comparison, man is worth much more.

In the creation recount 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, in this instance, dominion means to control or dominate because of the authority God gave to us.

Some of the reasons that all human life is sacred include:

  • 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 each of us as souls – the part of people that isn’t physical and lasts eternally after the body dies.  We don’t have souls – we are souls.  It is the essence of who we are and includes our consciousness, emotions (including desires), and minds (including thinking and will).  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.’”  We can need, appreciate, worship, and adore him with our hearts or emotions.  Our eternal souls spur us to act and choose to receive him as our Savior, surrender to him, and let him rule us as our Lord.  We can understand and receive God’s word with our minds or thoughts.
  • God gave us spirits, but we are not spirits.  Our immaterial spirits enable us to have an intimate relationship with God.  Our spirits weren’t made from the earth as God did with our bodies (see Genesis 2:7).  God gave our spirits to us so we could connect 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 offers us salvation 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 gave us the gift of the Holy Spirit once we repent and receive him.  In Acts Chapter 2, those in the crowd who heard Peter’s Day of Pentecost sermon asked him what they must do.  Acts 2:38 says, “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 gave 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 the peace that surpasses all understanding.  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 our capacity by him, who 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.”  1 John 3:1b says, “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!”

None of the above facts apply to reptiles, animals, birds, fish, or other critters.  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, nor does it command us not to do so.  Some well know Biblical stories 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 lions and bears (see 1 Samuel 17:34-36).

We shouldn’t be cruel to the creatures God gave us dominion over.  Indeed, God commands us to be good stewards of his earthly creation.  Proverbs 12:10 (NLT) says, “The godly care for their animals, but the wicked are always cruel.”  In Deuteronomy 25:4 (NLT), God said, “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 divine level, as many animal rights groups do.

Unlike most fishing, there’s no catch and release in hunting.  The vast majority of the time, we hunters eat what we kill.  But sometimes, we kill a creature because it poses a danger or it has been destroying a landowner’s property.  In such cases, we have no intention of eating it.

If you decide to kill a dangerous or destructive creature as I did on that hot March afternoon that you don’t intend to eat, always remember that your creator gave man dominion over them and made you above them in his creation’s hierarchy.

David with his hog and Randy’s rattlesnakes

Categories : Devotionals

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Today’s Devotionals and Blogs

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

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

Bible Verse of the Day

A little that a righteous man has Is better than the riches of many wicked. For the arms of the wicked shall be broken, But the LORD upholds the righteous.