Snakes In A Cistern

My co-pastor gets snakes in his water system.

Let me say that again: Snakes in his water system.

He usually doesn’t know the snakes have messed everything up until it is too late. Once he is aware of the snakes, they are already there and have done their damage. Sometimes when you recognize you have a problem you find that the damage is already done.

All you have to do is look around you to see that something is desperately wrong in America. You read the headlines about shootings, arrests and convictions for child pornography. Drug use is rampant, and along with it all of the destruction and pain that drugs inevitably bring.

What’s wrong? Why is it this way? I have a simple answer that was written a long time ago. In his letter to the Romans, Paul wrote about their society…

“21What happened was this: People knew God perfectly well, but when they didn’t treat him like God, refusing to worship him, they trivialized themselves into silliness and confusion so that there was neither sense nor direction left in their lives. 22They pretended to know it all, but were illiterate regarding life…

“24So God said, in effect, ‘If that’s what you want, that’s what you get.’ It wasn’t long before they were living in a pigpen, smeared with filth, filthy inside and out… 26Worse followed. Refusing to know God, they soon didn’t know how to be human either—women didn’t know how to be women, men didn’t know how to be men. 27Sexually confused, they abused and defiled one another… all lust, no love. And then they paid for it, oh, how they paid for it—emptied of God and love, godless and loveless wretches. 28Since they didn’t bother to acknowledge God, God quit bothering them and let them run loose. 29And then all hell broke loose: rampant evil, grabbing and grasping, vicious backstabbing. They made life hell on earth with their envy, wanton killing, bickering, and cheating… They keep inventing new ways of wrecking lives. They ditch their parents when they get in the way… 32And it’s not as if they don’t know better. They know perfectly well they’re spitting in God’s face. And they don’t care—worse, they hand out prizes to those who do the worst things best!” (Romans 1 The Message)

Isn’t it amazing that Paul was able to pinpoint what our world looks like by talking about his world? See, that’s the thing about truth. Truth is truth today or tomorrow, in Rome or Imperial. What Paul saw happening to his world (and eventually helped destroy Rome) is what we see happening today. If you don’t believe it, look around!

Of course, there is a solution. Paul continues in Romans chapter 3…

“25God sacrificed Jesus on the altar of the world to clear that world of sin. Having faith in him sets us in the clear… 26This is not only clear, but it’s now—this is current history! God sets things right. He also makes it possible for us to live in his rightness. (Romans 3:25,26)

God has so much in store for us if we will just give Him a try. Look around you, He couldn’t make it any worse than we have! I’m not talking about religion; religion is dangerous. I’m talking about a relationship with Jesus. We were never called to be religious, we were called to love God, to accept Him as Father. There is a difference.

Still grossed out by snakes… Jerry

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