[bibletalk] Roadrunners and Rattlesnakes

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From: "Steve Preston" <prstn496@...>
Date: Wed, 6 Jul 2011 05:45:58 -0400
by Charles R. Williams  Preacher: Nashville Road church of Christ "The 

The Bible uses nature to teach many lessons. Solomon said that we
should   look  at  the  industrious  ant  and  learn  lessons  of
preparation.  Jesus  said that we should look at the birds in the
air  and  the  lilies  in the field to understand that the Father
will  take care of His human children as well. Nature can be what
some have called "God's other book."

Another  illustration  in  nature  can  be  found in the peculiar
animal  called the roadrunner. A part of his diet is rattlesnake.
It catches the snake asleep, builds a hedge of thorn limbs around
the snake and then runs at the snake screeching at the top of its
shrill  voice.  The  snake  believes  it  is  being  attacked and
attempts  to  strike at the roadrunner. Instead, its tender belly
lands  on the thorns and it quickly withdraws. The bird continues
to  do  this  until  the snake becomes so frustrated it turns and
bites  itself, and it dies of its own poison. The roadrunner then
partakes of its favorite food.

Satan  often works in the same way. Small frustrations, thorns in
the  side,  a  little trouble here and a little trouble there can
cause   us  to  turn  inward  and  bring  about  self-destructive
attitudes.  The  apostle  Paul  had a thorn in his side, which he
considered  a  liability,  but  he  discovered  that  he was made
stronger  by these experiences and that he was able to survive by
the  grace of God (2 Cor. 12:7-10). Benefits from thorns can come
only  when the attitude is right. Otherwise they can inject self-
destructive poison into the thinking of a person.

Poison can come in several ways. Most poisons are clearly labeled
"Caution,"  "Danger,"  "Warning,"  etc.  Some, however, are sugar
coated  and deceptively packaged. Satan likes to put his tempting
poisons  into  pretty packages with deceptive labels; "It's fun,"
"Everybody  else  is  doing it," "Nobody will know," "You'll miss
out," etc.

Poison can result because of daily frustrations. That is what the
roadrunner  does to the rattlesnake. A man can also build his own
fence of thorns. Jesus says that this can be done when we sow the
seed  of  the  cares  and  riches of the world in our lives (Luke
8:14).  This can also be done when we live our lives in the briar
patches  of  the  world  (Jeremiah 4:4). Old 'Briar Rabbit' could
live  in  the  briar  patch  just  fine, but we humans need to be
sowing  and  living  in  fields that have been sown with the good
seed  of  God's  word.  Otherwise the care and the riches of this
world will choke out the good we seek to do. The more we trust in
riches, the more frustration life becomes.

Poison can result when a person receives but does not give. There
is  a  song  in our song books entitled "There Is A Sea." It is a
comparison  between  the  Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea. I have
seen  both.  Everything  around  the  Sea  of Galilee is lush and
green.  In  contrast the area around the Dead Sea is described by
its  name  sake "Dead." The sea itself is dead because of its own
poison.  Although it receives six million tons of water every day
by  way  of the Jordan River and five mountain streams, the water
is  nauseous  to  the  taste,  oily to the touch, and forms thick
crusts of salt on its shores because its water had nowhere to go.
It receives but it does not give. When a person receives but does
not  give,  he  creates  a  deadly  poison  in  his  own life and

Satan  will  try everything he can to frustrate us in our service
and  life  to  God. We must be careful that we do not sow our own
thorns  of destruction. Even if we do right, there will be thorns
with  which we must deal. Abraham, Joseph, Daniel, Ezekiel, Paul,
and  Jesus  are  just  a  few  examples. We must take care of the
temptations  that  come our way and look for the promised escape.
We  must  endure  and be strengthened by the thorn experiences of

In Christ, Steve Preston

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