1. To scheme; to plot and plan.
2. To steal something
From Strong’s Complete Dictionary of Bible Words
Greek: ophis of’ – is a type of sly cunning – artful malicious person
So the other day I was sitting in my living room enjoying the morning news and my morning coffee when I noticed a squirrel just off the end of our patio. I stopped and watched him for quite some time as he was digging under the bushes. I was fascinated by his tiny hands and fingers digging a little hole. Once he had the hole dug, he popped an acorn out of the pouch in his mouth. He then began pulling the dirt back over the hole, patting and tamping it down until the acorn was completely covered.
They say that wild animals understand or have a sense about the world that we don’t. I think this little critter knows that it is going to be an early and long winter here in northern New England (ugh) and he is going about the tasks of preparing and storing up his treasures. I’m not exactly sure how he is going to find that acorn once it sits under 3 feet of snow, but it seems to me that if this method didn’t work, he wouldn’t be doing it.
The next thing that happened (and I wish I had my camera ready), this little squirrel jumped up on the railing around the patio. He stopped there for a couple of minutes; almost looking like he was wiping the dirt from his hands while he looked down and inspected his work.
Then he turned around on the railing facing into the house. He started making all manner of squirrel noises. I don’t know what he was trying to say to us, but I like to think he was telling us that we’re welcome to share in His provisions should we need them and with that he jumped down and ran away.
26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns,
and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Matthew 6:26
Now… let us scroll forward to this morning.
It is a beautiful fall morning. Michael has just left for work. I gather up my bible, my devotional, my notebook and a large cup of coffee and head out to the patio for some quite time. I had just finished reading today’s devotional, I leaned back in my chair to think about what I had just read.
“Remember that the evil one is the father of lies. Learn to recognize his deceptive intrustions in your
thoughts. One of his favorite deceptions is to undermine your confidence in My unconditional
Love. Fight back against these lies!! Do not let them go unchallenged. Resist the devil in My
Name, and he will slink away from you. Draw near to Me, and My Presense
will envelop you in Love.” Jesus Calling – Page 183
There has been a good amount of stress and tension around here for the last few days… I’ve been terribly distracted. So today’s devotional spoke directly to my heart.
As I reached for my bible to look up today’s corresponding scripture, something caught my eye. I glanced over and then took a double take. Right there…. right there under the same bush where that little squirrel hide his treasure were 4 snakes!!!! 4 SNAKES!!!!!! I don’t do snakes. Nope. No snakes! I nearly spilled my coffee everywhere and just about pulled the sliding screen door off it rails trying to get into the house. Once I shook off the chills, I ran for my camera (of course low batteries). When I got back to the screen door, there were the snakes slithering across the patio – right up next to the door! YIKES!!!!
We’ve lived here 4 years, I have never seen a single snake, let alone 4!!!!!!! Trust me…. not a single snake, if I had I would never have ventured out to that patio ever again.
This run in with the snakes this morning, shook me to my core. I stopped for a bit and thought about what was going on. What was I supposed to learn from this? Do I think that satan was lurking outside my screen door this morning? No. However, I do believe that God can and does use objects and circumstances to orchestrate events to get our attention. Since He knows everything… He knows how I feel about snakes and that would certainly get my attention.
So, I’m not sure what the message of the squirrel was, other than He knows the anxiety I hold in my heart about finances and the future and that little squirrel showed me that He provides.
Now, about the snakes. There is a whole bunch of crazy going on around here with one of my step-children. I will not go into details, so as not to implicate anyone… however planning, plotting and scheming have afforded them great financial benefits. And malicious behavior towards me when I called them out on it… Well suffice to say there is a battle going on here. These snakes chased me back into my house (and into prayer and scripture) to get away from them. Prior to today, I had made a decision (for the sake of peace and harmony) to get out of my house when the step-child was coming to visit their father. I now know that I have to stand firm and resolute in what I believe. I cannot and will not back down in the light of their illegal and immoral behavior. To back down and leave my home, so as to avoid any upset, would in fact give victory to sin.
Maybe I am wrong, though I don’t think so. I have in fact on many occasions shared the gospel with this young person, they will listen politely and then go their own way. I believe they have turned their back on the Cross, so as to have an easy life I believe that a correction moment needs to occur – lying and cheating cannot and will not prevail in my home. I cannot come before the throne knowing that I have allowed evil to be victorious.
I am praying though… I don’t believe that they are lost forever. I do believe that the backlash of anger that they are throwing my way is a direct response to the conviction of the Holy Spirit they are feeling, yet refuse to acknowledge. They are welcome to be angry with me all they want, because I know that what is truthful, and right, and what is good and what is pure will always prevail.
“But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one.”
2 Thessalonians 3:3
“Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows”
“The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God
but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are
discerned only through the Spirit.”
1 Corinthians 2:14
“But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve,
whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites,
in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”