59. THE WAY OF A SERPENT UPON A ROCK
Preacher: Felix Ngunjiri Gichuri
Reading: “Three things are too wonderful for me; four I do not understand: the way of an eagle in the sky, the way of a serpent on a rock, the way of a ship on the high seas, and the way of a man with a virgin.” (Prov 30:18-19 [ESV2011])
An amazing thing mentioned in Proverbs 30:19 is “…the way of a serpent upon a rock.” If we consider the thing that amazed the author, we will notice that he was not amazed by a serpent, nor by a serpent on a rock but by the way of a serpent on a rock.
The Dancing Serpent
The author had spent quite some time observing the way of a serpent on a rock and on the sand. The author of the Psalm had keenly observed how the serpent moves on the sand: sliding, rolling, jumping, dancing and then burying itself in the sand with only its head popping out when its prey approaches. The design of its game is a shrewd trap where it hoists the tip of its tail above the sand while its head protrudes slightly above the sand so that it can see a lizard approaching to eat the supposed ‘shoot.’ And then the serpent strikes and eats the lizard. When serpents are moving on the sand, they leave various marks and prints on the sand. They draw various scribbled marks on the sand as they slither, glide or wind. The serpent moving on the sand creates paths and furrows changing the shape of the sand it is moving on. The serpent can do whatever it wants in the sand. It can strike at an enemy with lightning speed and hide without trace in the sand. On the other hand, the author noted that a serpent is not able to run away when on a rock because the rock is smooth and hard and it becomes defenseless, powerless and easy to be killed.
That Serpent is the Devil
The serpent moves by crawling this way and that way on a rock, the same way Satan walks in a confused manner, going to and fro, walking up and down. The Bible says that “there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them. And the LORD said unto Satan, Where do you come from? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.” (Job 1:6-7 [KJV])
The serpent Biblically symbolizes the devil. “And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceives the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him” (Revelation 12:9) [KJV]. “And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.” (Rev 20:1-3 [KJV])
Christ is the Rock that Quenched Israelites’ Thirst for 40 Years in the Wilderness
According to the Bible, rock symbolizes Christ. “Moreover, brethren, I would not want you to be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; And did all eat the same spiritual meat; And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ” (1 Corinthians 10:1-5) [KJV]. The Rock that gave them water from heaven to drink was the Christ, who fed them in the wilderness with spiritual water and manna, leading them through the desert with a pillar of fire by night and pillar of cloud by day. “And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night:” (Exod 13:21 [KJV]) The same LORD mentioned in the Old Testament is the same Lord mentioned in the New Testament scriptures namely Rom 10:9, 1 Cor 8:6, 1 Cor 12:3, 2 Cor.13:14, Col 1:15-17, Col 2:9, 1 Peter3:15 and crowned through Jesus Christ’s revelation to John the Apostle that He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
“These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.” (Rev 17:14 [KJV])
There was no one at that time to tell the Israelites that the Rock that gave them physical drink to quench their thirst in the desert was God the Rock of Israel (2 Sam. 23:3) and the Rock of Our Salvation (Ps. 95:1). There was no one to tell them that God the Rock who gave them physical water in the desert is their refuge (Ps. 94:22) and that He was giving them at that time a foretaste of spiritual drink that He was to send here on earth as Christ the Rock two thousand years later. That Rock that gave Israelites to drink was Jesus Christ who would later come as Son of Man to nourish those who abide in Him with both physical food and spiritual food because He is the Word of God. God nourishes our souls with His word. The Bible says that “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). Clearly, the Bible is food for the soul and drink for the spirit. We are told in Ephesians 5:19 to “drink deeply of God’s Spirit” (WNT) to quench our thirsty souls with His love and His presence during fellowship. As believers in Christ, we can live in the Divine Trinity by enjoying Christ as our life supply; we need to drink the Spirit daily as the living water and eat Christ as our spiritual food so that we may live in Christ and express Christ to others. Amen!
Instead of Speaking to the Rock, Moses Caned the Rock and Was Denied Entry to the Promised Land
Moses made a blunder when he caned the rock instead of speaking to it as commanded by God so that the rock would produce water. “And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying, Take the rod, and gather the assembly together, you and Aaron your brother, and speak unto the rock before their eyes; and it shall give forth its water, and you shall bring forth to them water out of the rock: so you shall give the congregation and their beasts drink. And Moses took the rod from before the LORD, as he commanded him. And Moses and Aaron gathered the congregation together before the rock, and he said unto them, Hear now, you rebels; must we fetch you water out of this rock? And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he struck the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also. And the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron, ‘Because you did not believe me, to sanctify me (to show me as holy, to hallow me) in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them” (Numbers 20:7-12) [KJV]. Moses did not sanctify the Lord in front of the children of Israel and he was denied entry to the Promised Land.
Serpent is Powerless on a Rock
Caning the rock by Moses can be likened to the way the devil planned to cane Christ by inciting the Israelites to nail Him on the cross at Calvary on trumped-up charges. Satan wanted to execute the plan that had aborted earlier when he failed to tempt Christ in the wilderness before Jesus began His ministry here on earth. As Satan was tempting Jesus “… he brought him to Jerusalem, and set him on a pinnacle of the temple, and said to him, If you are the Son of God, cast yourself down from here: For it is written, He shall give his angels charge over you to keep you: And in their hands they shall bear you up, lest at any time you dash thy foot against a stone. And Jesus answering said to him, It is said, you shalt not tempt the Lord your God. And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season” (Luke 4:9-13) [KJV]. Once Christ was securely pinned on the cross, the devil came and beat Him to death using his agents like the Roman soldiers who flogged him, beat him on the face with a cane, plucked his beards and pierced him on the head with a crown of thorns. It is like the devil or the serpent was pinning itself onto Jesus Christ and striking Him on the head, hands, feet, back, chest, face, in a spirited onslaught to ‘humiliate and kill’ Jesus on the cross. “They kept beating His head with a reed, and spitting on Him, and kneeling and bowing before Him.” (Mark 15:19) It was like a serpent on a rock trying to bite the same rock it is lying on forgetting that serpents are powerless on a rock.
If we Abide in Christ, He will Make Us Rocks that Cannot Be Harmed by Serpent the Devil
After resurrection, Jesus told His disciples before ascending to heaven that He would not leave them alone as orphans. That He would leave them with a Comforter. Jesus told them that “I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it sees him not, neither knows him: but you know him; for he dwells with you, and shall be in you” (John 14:16-17). This means that if we abide in Christ and He abides in us, we shall be like Him, the Rock of ages, who gives to those who believe that He is the Christ, the Messiah or the Anointed One or His Anointing the power to bind what they don’t want and the power to loose what they want. “When Jesus came to the area of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” They answered, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered him, “You are blessed, Simon son of Jonah, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but my Father in heaven! And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth will have been bound in heaven, and whatever you release on earth will have been released in heaven.” (Matt 16:13-19 [NET2])
The devil will not have any power over us because believers are rocks and have been given power to bind demons. To bind means to tie tightly so as to immobilize. Jesus told His disciples that “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father” (John 14:12) [KJV]. What a great joy for us. The Rock has conquered and made us more than conquerors in Christ Jesus.
Those Who Pursue Righteousness are Rocks Hewn from the Rock of Ages
The Bible says, “Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness, you who seek the Lord: look to the rock from which you were hewn, and to the quarry from which you were dug.” (Isaiah 51:1 ESV). Remind the devil that you are a rock, hewn from the Rock of ages, and that the Rock is Christ. Meaning that you are a portion of Christ. When you are a rock hewn from the Rock Christ Jesus, no serpent can harm you because you are a portion of Christ as written in Acts 28: 3-6: “And when they were escaped, then they knew that the island was called Melita. And the barbarous people showed us no little kindness: for they kindled a fire, and received us every one, because of the present rain, and because of the cold. And when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks, and laid them on the fire, there came a viper out of the heat, and fastened itself on his hand. And when the barbarians saw the venomous beast hang on his hand, they said among themselves, No doubt this man is a murderer, whom, though he has escaped the sea, yet vengeance does not allow him to live. And he shook off the beast into the fire, and felt no harm. The people expected him to swell up and fall down dead suddenly: but after they had looked a great while, and saw no harm come to him, they changed their minds, and said that he was a god.” When we are the rock hewn from the Rock of Ages Christ Jesus, no harm can come upon you as we become untouchable and unconquerable. Even if a serpent pins itself on our bodies, we shall just shake it off and it shall not have power to harm us because we are rocks hewn from the Rock of Ages.
These Signs Will Accompany Those Who Believe: In My Name They Will Drive Out Demons
If you believe in Jesus, acknowledging that He is the Messiah, the Anointed One, no demon will touch you and He will give you power over every other power. “These signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new languages; they will pick up snakes with their hands, and whatever poison they drink will not harm them; they will place their hands on the sick and they will be well.” (Mark 16:17-18 [NET]) “Look, I have given you authority to tread on snakes and scorpions and on the full force of the enemy, and nothing will hurt you.” (Luke 10:19 [NET]) When the serpent was trying to bite Paul’s hand, it portrayed its foolishness and lack of knowledge of who Paul was. Paul was a small rock hewn out of the massive Rock of Ages and the serpent cannot and will not be able to bite a rock. If you make the LORD, even the Most High, your habitation, no evil shall come upon you.
“Because you have made the LORD your dwelling place— the Most High, who is my refuge—no evil shall be allowed to befall you, no plague come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone. You will tread on the lion and the adder; the young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot.” (Ps 91:9-13 [ESV2011])
David, the servant of the LORD, who spoke unto the LORD the words of this song in the day that the LORD delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul: said, “I will love thee, O LORD, my strength. The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.” (Ps 18:1-3 [KJV])
David says in his Psalm to Jeduthun, the chief Musician, ‘’Truly my soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defence; I shall not be moved. In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God. Trust in him at all times; you people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us.” (Ps 62:5-8 [KJV])
If You Know Who Jesus is, He Will Rename You as Peter Which Means Rock
God the Son will rename us into Peter which means ‘small rock or stone’ if only we know who He is: that He is the Christ, the Son of the Living God. “When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? And they said, Some say that you are John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. He said unto them, “But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed are you, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto you, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto you, That you are Peter, and upon this rock (of revelation) I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto you the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever you shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” (Matt 16:13-19 [KJV])
Jesus is the Christ, Which Means Messiah or the Anointed One
If only we have the knowledge that Jesus is the Christ which means Messiah or the Anointed One or His Anointing.. God will harden you to be like Himself by anointing you with His Holy Spirit and be in you. The word anointed actually means to pour on, smear all over or to rub into. Most Christians today know very little about the anointing because when the Bible was translated into English, the translators failed to translate the Greek word Christ. And because of that failure instigated by the devil, a major revelation has been hidden from the Church. People began to use the word Christ as a title. Some even used it as if it was Jesus’ last name. But it is not. The word Christ is a Greek word Christos that is a translation of the Hebrew word Messiah. Translated into English, it means anointed or the Anointed One. It also refers to His anointing. The anointing is God’s presence. His essence. It is the thing that makes God be God. The anointing is God on flesh enabling flesh to do those things that are impossible for flesh to do. For instance, flesh cannot heal anyone. Even Jesus’ flesh could not heal anyone because it came from Mary. It was as human as hers. He had to wait until He was anointed with the Holy Spirit for Him to start doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil. Peter preaching about Christ to a Gentile who had not heard of Jesus preached “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.” (Acts 10:38 [KJV])
Jesus Promised to Give Those Who Believe in Him Power Over Every Other Power
And Jesus after overcoming temptations of the devil returned in the power of the Holy Spirit into Galilee confessed that “The Spirit of the Lord [is] upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor” Luke 4:14 [KJV]. His perfect, sinless flesh speaking the words of a perfect sinless God caused God’s anointing to be poured upon Him without measure. When you are covered by the Holy Spirit, you are anointed with power over every other power, and no demon can touch you. “And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matt 28:18-20 [ESV2011]) Jesus told those who believe in Him that “Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you.” (Luke 10:19 ESV) You are immunized against powers of the devil. And no evil shall come upon You.