Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.~Matthew 10:16 KJV
God wants us to be wise and harmless. I remember once when I tossed some corn on the cob over my banisters, thinking the doves I see and hear in the yard might enjoy our leftovers.
A while later I went back on the deck and scared a whole flock that fed on the ground below. The thundering of the wings would have been scary to me had I not known how doves sound.
Later, as the sun was setting, I heard them cooing as they perched on the powerlines for the night. A still, mournful sound, yet calming. Earlier this summer, I heard a dove frantically cooing. I’d never heard that call in their repertoire. My nephew said the dove had lost its mate. They mate for life and when one mate dies the other makes a pitiful sound–true mourning. Doves are harmless. They make a lot of noise when they fly and may startle someone, but they will not attack. They are mournful in their call and uncomforted in death.
And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up.~John 3:14 KJV
Jesus’ analogy to Christians to be wise as serpents but harmless as doves draws another great picture. A serpent is a smart creature hidden until the moment it strikes so it gets you before you get it. In our witness, we also need to make people aware of sin. Jesus reminded Nicodemus of the time Moses made a serpent and put it on a pole so that the people bitten because of sin might look and live.
May our witness be unexpected, striking to the hearts of those endangered by a life apart from God.
How will you use the Lord’s creation as a witness to others?
Father God, thank You for Your beautiful creation that teaches me about Your love and mercy. Guide my heart and mind to wisely show Your love to others. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Are you a bird watcher? Do you notice birdcalls when you’re out playing or working in the garden?
Do you have a bird feeder near a window?
My bird feeder and a hummingbird feeder are near my kitchen window.
Hummingbirds are harmless. They sound like a hornet attack but once you know what you’re hearing, they’re fun to watch.
They dart around the feeder, landing on the wire cage near it.
The males fight with each other over the feeder.
They even make a chirping sound.
I’ve had to offer them my broom as a landing spot in my carport and transport them quickly to the outside. They must think my red car is the biggest flower they’ve ever encountered.
Jesus used doves and snakes to make his analogy.
How could you make an analogy with hummingbirds or maybe lizards?
My dog once ate a blue-tail lizard (skink) and almost died.
Are there other animals that impress you?
Copyright 2021: Wise and Harmless: Gail Cartee: All Rights Reserved