Don't Tread on Me
"Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil."1
"In December, 1775, an American colonist (believed by many scholars to be Benjamin Franklin), noticed the increasing use of a symbol throughout the colonies, stamped onto barrels and other items, depicting a coiled rattlesnake with the words 'Don't Tread On Me' written below the snake. He wondered about how the symbol of a rattlesnake could be a symbol of the American desire for freedom?
"He wrote the following words: 'The Rattle-Snake is found in no other quarter of the world besides America. She never begins an attack, nor, when once engaged, never surrenders: She is therefore an emblem of magnanimity and true courage. She never wounds 'till she has generously given notice, even to her enemy, and cautioned him against the danger of treading on her.'"2
I've been hiking in the mountains and heard the warning sign of a rattler and was extremely thankful for that. Recently our little dog was barking furiously so we went out on our back deck so see what was going on, and there was a rattlesnake warning our puppy not to come too close. We were extremely grateful for the snake's warning rattle. In the Bible, Satan is depicted as a serpent—a serpent who not only doesn't warn about his lethal bite, but appears in alluring disguises promising great rewards of pleasure, ready and waiting to devour his every victim.
How different from God because over and over he warns us in his Word, the Bible, to avoid sin at all costs for it will destroy us. He, too, has generously given notice even to his enemies to "flee from the wrath to come" and to turn to Christ the Savior of the world.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, help me to be careful where I walk (how I live) and avoid the ways of Satan at all costs. Thank you that there is salvation from the evil one when I turn to you. Help me so to do. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. Ephesians 5:15-16 (NASB).
2. Source: Christian Voices, www.christianvoices.org. Cited on Sermon Fodder, www.sermonfodder.com.