Keith returned to the house and picked up his .22 rifle, loaded with "rat" shot. Usually one straight to the head leaves them so dead they don't even do their customary postmortem writhe, but this one turned around and headed to the shelter of the inner shed. Keith was sure he had not missed. After changing to his steel-toed work boots and clanging loudly around the riding mower which stood square between him and the direction the snake had crawled, he climbed aboard, started it and backed out. There it was—right up against the back wall. Another shot to the center of his body and it barely raised its head. A final one to the head for the coup de grace.
A Florida winter is not bad by northern standards. Even here in north Florida where we might have several frosts and freezes a year and occasional snow flurries, we still see Northern transplants in shirtsleeves, especially in the warmer afternoons, while we natives are still shivering in sweaters or windbreakers. The cold-blooded reptiles feel the same way about it we do.
We always told our boys they could go out in the woods if the temperature was 50 or under—they would be safe from the snakes. Any warmer made things much more dangerous. Cold air makes snakes sluggish. A bright sun is a much friendlier atmosphere for them. They will crawl out of their holes to try to warm up their blood. An open sunny field in the winter is much more dangerous to walk in than the cooler shadows.
Have you noticed that Satan doesn't have to hide anymore? Our culture has become much friendlier and hospitable to him than ever before. Things that used to be hidden because everyone knew they were wrong, are done right out in the open. Just turn on your television. All you have to watch are the commercials to see Satan reigning everywhere. No longer do you have to go to "the wrong side of town" or down dark alleys. He is everywhere and everyone welcomes him like a long lost brother. Maybe that's exactly what he is to our culture. Were they ashamed when they committed abomination? No, they were not at all ashamed; they did not know how to blush…says the LORD. Jer 6:15. Neither does our culture—they are downright proud of their sin.
Suddenly the righteous man is the one who has to hide, who has to live in the dark alleys so he won't be persecuted for his godliness. Suddenly our society is no longer hospitable to the good, but only to the evil.
So what should we do? Be careful out there. Don't fall prey to the desire for popularity or simple companionship. Keep yourself holy in an unholy world even if it becomes dangerous, even if you must sacrifice for the Lord, the one who sacrificed for you.
Snakes are crawling around everywhere. Be careful where you step.
…“O my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift my face to you, my God, for our iniquities have risen higher than our heads, and our guilt has mounted up to the heavens. Ezra 9:6