Even those not inherently squeamish about snakes are uneasy about a phenomenon occurring in Florida. Former pet owners of Burmese Pythons probably started releasing them in south Florida back in the late 1990s. On February 4, personnel found an 18-foot specimen in the Everglades. That they are huge predators was already a known fact. Yet, researchers from Davidson College and members of the U.S. Geological Survey organization trapped six of these snakes and moved them 13 to 20 miles away. In less than a year, all six had navigated to within three miles of their original location. This means these huge creatures are capable of “homing,” whether by sight, smell, or by way of the earth’s magnetic field (Elizabeth Weise, USA Today, 3/19/14).
As unsettling for some of us as that idea might seem, there is a predator far more deadly than that whose cunning and wiles are even greater. Satan, called “that serpent of old,” is said to have “devices” (2 Cor. 2:11), and is depicted by Peter as being predatory (1 Pet. 5:8). While he is not able to make us do evil—that’s something we do ourselves (Js. 1:13-15), he is subtle and beguiling and desires our destruction.
The implication of the article and those researchers is that moving the snake is not the answer. They make their way back. The answer is to destroy the snake. As we fight temptations in our lives, we must be aggressively proactive! We must take radical, decisive steps to keep the snake from coming back. From faithful Bible study and prayer to exerting will-power and self-control, we can prevent the old serpent from invading our lives! James urges us on, telling us that by resisting the devil we can put him to flight (Js. 4:7-8).
As one who was born in Mississippi and raised in south Georgia, I am very proud of my southern roots. Frankly, I could not hide them even if I was inclined. It is a heritage that includes the Bible Belt, sweet tea, BBQ, lemon icebox pie, peanut butter, gnats, humidity, pecan trees, Georgia mud cats, the Georgia Bulldogs, and the Atlanta Braves (including the bad years). But, one thing we rarely needed to be ready for was treating the roads for snow and ice. Therefore, even a light or moderate amount of snow means impassable roads and gridlock in traffic. The historic snowstorm that has hit the deep south has come with power outages, massive traffic jams, stranded motorists, numerous wrecks, and seven states of emergency. Typically, southern cities do not have chemicals for road treatment, a bevy of snow plows, or organized plans because these events are so rare.
I am not criticizing these locales and governments because of this lack of preparation. Of course, I was not trying to get home from work or school in those conditions. If you were, you likely feel differently.
Yet, there is a general state of unpreparedness for something that is 100% likely to occur at some point in the future. Every single person could potentially make completely ready for it. It has been forecast with the greatest of certainty. It has been described in clear enough detail. The preparation is outlined in clear and simple detail. There are even a number of people who have been employed and enlisted to aid in warning and educating the general public. Those tasked with being prepared and preparing others will be held accountable for whether or not they were involved in enacting that plan. Every single person who is unprepared will nonetheless be accountable and liable for the consequences of their not being ready (Mat. 25:1-13). There is absolutely no reason why anyone should be unprepared for the Judgment Day. May each of us do our part to help prepare as many as possible for it!