A Serpent In The Garden
Why couldn’t God have made women to like normal things, such as sitting in the woods for days in sub-zero weather waiting for a deer or elk to walk by? Now that is my idea of exciting watching. Or watching a college football game! Ceci does not always understand me in this area, but she is kind about it. “Who are you rooting for?” she sometimes asks.
“I don’t care who wins,” I often reply.
“Are these any of your favorite teams?”
“No, not really.”
“A favorite player or two, perhaps?”
“Naw, I don’t know much about these guys at all.”
“Then why are you watching the game?” she asks with a quizzical expression.
“Because it’s football,” I reply as patiently as I possibly can. Sometimes people cannot figure out the obvious.
I will tell you what puzzles me: why she and our two daughters like to watch stuff that makes them cry. Go figure!
Many kinds of watching take place: TV watching, parade watching, watching the clock, stock market watching, bird watching, and a thousand other things. I like to watch kids laugh. I hate to watch people cry. I have watched individuals be born; I have watched others die.
I watched a lady in San Pedro, Guatemala, look for a watch. It was her husband’s – he was killed in the earthquake of 1976. So were three of her children. All she and her surviving infant had left were the clothes on their backs. Their small adobe home was a mound of dirt.
When our interpreter asked her what she was digging for, she replied, “A bag of beans we had and my husband’s watch. He was sleeping about here when he was killed,” she said, pointing at an area of approximately ten square feet. “It would mean so much to me if I could find his watch.”
We started digging.
Although it was like looking for a needle in a haystack, we asked God to help us and waded into the three-feet-deep dirt. Right then I would have charged hell for that watch. We found it an hour or so later.
“Muchas gracias,” she repeated through tears as she clutched the inexpensive watch to her breast.
Treasure is such a relative term, I thought as I wiped my eyes. I wish the world could see this. Maybe some priorities would change.
I watched another quake victim, holding her three-year-old daughter, walk away from a food line in which I was serving. She was the last in line for the soup. As she held out the jar she had found, we looked at her and said, “No mảs” (No more). Then through blurry eyes, I watched her walk away, holding her hungry child.
Things got all messed up at that point in my life. Neat little lists of needs disappeared. Certain important goals became strangely irrelevant. Things that mattered suddenly didn’t. Bank accounts were looked at differently; success was redefined. Funny how one glance into four eyes can bring such chaos. In many ways, order has never been restored.
Be careful what you watch.
Today’s post is about being a watchman (or watchwoman – for continuity’s sake, we will refer to the watchman which will mean either or both). It is an extremely important aspect of prayer, taken from the secular concept of a sentry, guard, or watchman. God wants you to be one spiritually. Students of scripture speak of a principle called “the law of first mention.” It simply states that the first time an important subject is mentioned in scripture is significant: God “introduces” it. He gives us important details or facts regarding the subject, which will, of course, help us understand the person or thing introduced, much like we do when “introducing” a guest lecturer, for example.
The first mention of a watchman in the Bible is in Genesis 2:15 where God told Adam to “keep” the garden. “Keep” is the Hebrew word shamar, which is one of the three Old Testament words used for a watchman. The main concept of the word shamar involves protection and preservation.
Adam was told to protect the garden, watching for attacks from the evil one, the serpent. Why do I assert this? Because first of all, it is much in keeping with the nature of God to have warned him. To have done otherwise would not have been consistent with God’s character. Second, neither Adam nor Eve seemed shocked when a snake talked to them! It evidently did not come as a total surprise. Third, what else could there have been before the Fall to guard, keep, or protect themselves and the garden from? Only the serpent. In keeping with the law of first mention, the first responsibility of watchmen is to keep the serpent out of their God-given gardens: home, family, city, schools, government, nation – our “garden” can be many things.
The watchmen in America (the church) were asleep in the 1960s and the serpent wreaked havoc in our garden. He spewed his poisonous venom in our government, schools, courts, media, families, entertainment, and even our churches. America bought it as surely as Adam and Eve did 6000 years ago. How bad is the venom?
- We believe we evolved from monkeys…or a big bang.
- We kill our babies.
- We mock those who fight for them.
- We don’t know the difference between males and females.
- Truth no longer matters – only the results. In fact, to many, truth no longer exists. They’ve embraced relativism, the doctrine that knowledge, truth, and morality exist in relation to culture, society, or historical context, and are not absolute.
- We now have a government whose political party boo’s God and won’t say His name in our pledge of allegiance.
- We have churches that won’t preach the Cross and don’t believe the Bible.
We could go on, of course, but we need not. The point is obvious: there is a serpent in our garden – and it’s time to expel him. That’s why we appeal, and it’s why we must function as the ekklesia, enforcing God’s will on the earth. The blood of Christ is the only antidote for the serpent’s poison, and the name of Jesus is the only force that can expel him. We must use both – this we shall do!
“Then the sentry cries out, ‘I continually stand on this watchtower day after day for you, O Lord. I’m stationed at my post throughout the night.’” Isaiah 21:8
Pray with me:
Father, just as Adam did, we have allowed the serpent into our garden. He has spewed his poisonous venom into every part of our nation. Our government is defiled; they call evil, good and good, evil. They have eliminated You from their function and expelled You from their gatherings. Many of them want to expel You from this nation You founded and called according to Your purpose.
Our universities and colleges teach beliefs and philosophies that ignore You, mock You, and propagate doctrines of demons. Our entertainment industry promotes filth, perversion, and violence; our media is the voice of leviathan, promoting lies and suppressing truth. Much of the Church has become lukewarm, biblically ignorant, and powerless.
Yet, You have the antidote for this poison – the blood of Jesus and the gospel of the Kingdom. You are coming to bring the greatest revival America has ever experienced.
America shall live and not die! And the coming revival is not only for America, it
is to benefit many nations of the earth. And even now Your angels are preparing to distribute this healing serum. Holy Spirit is overseeing the endeavor and preparing to make it available to a billion people around the world. Millions in America will receive it and be saved. And though many hate this and will try to stop it, they fight against You in vain. You are coming and You will not be stopped! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
We decree that the poison of the serpent will not be lethal for America! Jesus is coming to save her!
Portions of today’s post were taken from my book Watchman Prayer.