Uncle Edward having just returned from South America, had wonderful stories to tell. He was quite a hero in the eyes of the children.
"I'll tell you a snake story", said the young man. "One beautiful morning, off I roamed as usual, with gun over my shoulder and my lunch in my pocket, in search of game".
"After a while, feeling rather tired and very hungry, I sat down on a fallen tree to rest".
"While seated there, my attention was attracted by the cries of a bird which was fluttering over a leafy spot, doubtless her tiny nest. She was in great distress, and I could not help rising to see, if possible, the cause of her trouble. I soon found out. Creeping slowly along towards the tree was one of the most venomous snakes in South America, with its small glittering eyes fixed on the bird, and its forked tongue darting quickly out and in".
"Presently I saw a curious thing happen. The male bird flew quickly away. In a little while I saw him return with a small twig covered with leaves in his beak. Perching near the nest, he laid the twig carefulIy across it, covering his mate and her young. Then, taking his place on one of the topmost branches of the tree, he seemed to grow quieter, and there awaited the approach of the enemy".
Uncle Edward paused.
"Oh, what, Uncle?" cried the children.
"--then suddenly throwing his head back, as if he had received some sudden blow, he turned around, made his way down the tree and disappeared in the long grass".
"I climbed up the tree and examined the little broken branch. I carried it home and told the whole story to a native friend, showing him the twig. I learned from him that it had been plucked by the bird off a bush which is poisonous to the snake and which he is never known to touch. The little helpless creature had used it as a shield of defense".
Satan is called in Scripture "that old serpent". He is intent on the destruction of men and women and boys and girls, helpless as birds against his attacks and his wiles.
But God has told us in His Word of a tree that is poison to our enemy,
and as certain protection for us, old and young. I mean the
tree of Calvary, the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ. Christ "Who His
own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree, ...by whose
stripes ye were healed"
(I Peter 2:24).
Isn't it wonderful that our gracious God should teach the bird about the tree where it may "help itself" to a healing branch? And is it less wonderful that He has provided the cross, and the great salvation accomplished there by our Lord Jesus Christ for us? No, it is the most remarkable fact in the universe that the "...Son of God loved me, and gave Himself for me" (Galatians 2:20), and that salvation is for "whosoever will".
"In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God
sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through
(I John 4:9).
"But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name" (John 1:12).
author: R.W. Hart
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