The Enemy Lying in Wait
23:16 KJV) And when Paul's
sister's son heard of their lying in wait, he went and entered into the castle,
and told Paul.
While looking back over the years, I have come to the conclusion that life is a series of snares that have been set to entrap believers. Since the fall of man in the Garden of Eden, Satan has been setting traps to capture the mind, will and emotions of mankind. One of the ways that Satan effectively does this is by invading one’s emotions and killing one’s dreams. Killing one’s dreams is even more effective than killing their body.
Regardless of Satan’s tactics he is always lying in wait to strike and kill us…or at least something about us to render us helpless.
I am reminded about the time my wife and I were riding down a dirt road on our ranch, and I noticed something large lying across the road ahead of us. At first I thought it was a post, but when I drove closer we saw that it was a very large rattlesnake.
As we drove closer it crawled across the road, under a fence, and into an armadillo hole. This turned out to be the largest rattlesnake I had ever seen. I jumped out of the truck and grabbed an ax to kill it. The snake was so big that when it coiled up in the armadillo hole it completely filled it.
I took my ax and moved over to one side of the hole so I could chop down on the snake without having it strike at me. However, when I would chop down from the side, the snake seemed to understand the difference between the ax that would eventually kill it and my hand on the ax. Therefore it would try to run up the handle of the ax to get to my hand. I finally killed the snake...which happened to be five and a half feet long.
I am aware that snakes have instinct and not intelligence, but as I looked into the eyes of this particular snake it seemed to have a lot more than instinct.
That day I became even more aware that the snake in the Garden of Eden (Satan) is still lying in wait to strike at each of us. His intention is to steal, kill and destroy us, which is what we must do to him and his works. Even though Jesus defeated Satan (the snake) at the cross, in order for us to walk in that victory we still must defeat him daily regardless of what hole he may crawl into.
The second lesson I learned was that the snake’s eyes were not fixed on the ax that would destroy it, but on my hand that was holding the ax. It would wait until my hand was extended the closest to him with the ax, and then he would try to run up the ax handle to bite me. In other words he knew he was defeated (like Satan knows), but he wanted to bite and poison me in the process.
As Paul’s nephew was alert in our text to the dangers that awaited Paul, we too must be alert to the dangers that await us and our loved ones. This is one reason why we preach the Word of God to warn folks of the wrath to come.
Help us to be as aware of the enemy (the snakes) that lays in wait to destroy us as Paul’s nephew was aware of his enemy. Thank You Lord for giving us life and that more abundantly, as we choose to walk in that abundant life by being alert to the traps that Satan has set to destroy us.