Written By: Stephen Ojo Gbadegesin
One of the most unexpected statements Jesus ever made was ” Be wise as serpent “. We can easily agree with “Be innocent as dove”, because dove is actually innocent. Dove has no bile ( no bitterness), Dove does not see two things at a time ( singleness of purpose and vision), Dove meets sexually with only one female in its lifetime ( purity). If the Lord asks us to resemble such bird, who incidentally was used as a symbol of the Holy Spirit, we can gladly do that. “I’m sending you as sheep in the midst of wolves is understandably clear, but no sheep can survive in the midst of wolves without a good shepherd”. No wonder He said, “without me, you can do nothing”. You can’t fight the battles of life without Jesus.
Sheep has no horn to fight, sheep lacks initiative, sheep move in companies, hardly will you see a sheep grazing alone, any lone sheep is probably lost, except its the only one the owner has. So, the Lord wants us to live together, graze together and be together. Christians must belong to a gathering of saints called local church. None of us is complete alone. Whereas, a Sheep has no horns, Rams do, no wonder the children of Ishmael were called “Rams of Nebaioth”, and that they would live in hostility with their brothers. My point is that the scriptures use animals as symbols of comparison selectively.
Back to the serpent, the Serpent or Snake has a very bad representation in the scriptures. It’s a symbol of Satan. It represents evil, it’s arguably the most hated of God’s creation. I’m sure if we are to choose an animal that should go into extinction, majority may vote for serpent. Serpent itself is the worst type of snake, it’s that snake that is difficult to discover as it has the color of sand. If it’s on the floor where you sit, you may hardly know until someone is attacked.
How can Jesus asked us, his children to be wise, not like any good animal, but like serpent. Many reasons, one was that serpent ought not survive in a world that is extremely anti- serpent, but only has it survived despite all our efforts to make them go into extinction, they are multiplying( Christians live in anti- Christians world, and despite persecution, we are still multiplying). Serpent has poison to fight, but chooses it fight, it knows when to run instead of confronting. Serpent knows how to hide when necessary and comes out when necessary. The Serpent knows how to move quietly to safety, and no one will hear the sound. The Serpent knows how to, as well as when to fight. Christians, be wise as serpent.
Let’s just look at two instances. Jesus was born, and ordinary Herod wanted to kill him (The Almighty God in human form). What do you expect the Father to say? He had power to kill Herod right there, he later did, but His response was ” Take the child, run away, hide in Egypt until those who seek his life are dead” Was this from Elshaddai God, Jehovah Nissi, Alpha and Omega? Yes. Even the child in question is our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the Creator Himself, who was here on the greatest mission ever brought by man. So, God asked the human parents of Jesus to Carry and hide Him from the ordinary small man called Herod? Yes!
Another instance was when the Bible says ” and he could no longer walk publicly among the Jews, for they wanted to kill him” You mean Jesus was hiding, yes. He came actually to die, but not anyhow, and not before the actual time. When His time came to die, He actually died. So, the enemies may attempt to cut a man of destiny down before his time, Yes. Solution: he should pray, but also watch, and be wise as serpent. As you go about prayers this season, after prayers, be wise. Chinua Achebe says “wisdom prevails in the camp of the faithful , through it many lives are saved”, nothing is as dangerous as premature testimony.
Choose your fights like the serpent. Let not your zeal override your wisdom. Know when to be quiet and when to speak. Martin Luther says “even truth spoken before it’s time is dangerous”. God, who hid His only begotten Son was not a coward, Jesus, who hid himself was not a weakling. Not everything is for social media, you are not the only one there. Your wife is confirmed pregnant, Facebook. Your wife is just delivered of a baby, Facebook. You just got employment letter, Facebook. You just laid the foundation of your house, Facebook etc. Someone promised you something, the whole world is already aware, there are things others do and go scot free, you may not because you are different, your destiny, purpose and vision attracts enemies, be wise, not everyone is happy for you. Be wise this year, and God of all wisdom will give us a very great, good and fulfilling year, in Jesus name.
Nugget For The Year