The Farmer and the Snake

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Bible Reading: Proverbs 19:2-3

Zeal without knowledge is not good; a person who moves too quickly may go the wrong way People ruin their lives by their own foolishness and then are angry at the Lord. Proverbs 19:2-3

AESOP, A GREEK slave who lived about six hundred years before Christ, recorded many fables-short stories that were intended to teach an important truth. One of Aesop’s fables was the story of the farmer and the snake.

One winter a farmer was walking down the dirt road near his farm when he saw a snake lying across the road, stiff and frozen from the cold.

The farmer felt sorry for the snake and picked it up. He cradled the poisonous creature against his chest, and before long the warmth of the man’s body began to revive the snake. Immediately upon gaining the use of its muscles, the snake coiled and bit the farmer, inflicting a deadly wound.

The farmer was foolish, of course. He should have known better. He should not have taken a chance with a poisonous snake.

Many people make the same mistake today. Oh, they may not pick up snakes from the road, but they do something that is infinitely more dangerous. They play with sin. They flirt with temptation. They make wrong choices. And they wonder why they can’t seem to find happiness and fulfillment. Sometimes their wrong choices have tragic consequences, and they look at their ruined lives and ask, “How could God do this to me?”

“People ruin their lives by their own foolishness,” Solomon said, “and then are angry at the Lord” (Proverbs 19:3). But it’s not God’s fault if people who disobey him suffer the consequences of their disobedience. People who play with snakes should expect to be bitten.

REFLECT: Today’s reading compares sin to a snake. In what ways do you think sin is like a snake? In what ways is it different?

Are you “playing” with any sin or “flirting” with any temptations in your life? God can help you steer clear of that sin or temptation if you let him.

PRAY: “Father God, I don’t want to ruin my life by making a foolish choice. Help me to steer clear of sin and temptation, especially in the area of____________________.”

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