BIBLE READING: MATTHEW 10
16 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.
17 But beware of men:
What a piece of advice! We are supposed to be “wise”, “harmless”, and cautious. I must be honest, that does not describe your average, every day Christian. It should, but unfortunately it doesn’t.
“WISE AS SERPENTS”
The idea that is presented here is of being able to accomplish things without brute force. He does not tell us to be bulls in a china shop. He says to be “wise as serpents”. A snake is one that quietly, discreetly goes about his business. He knows when to act and when not to act. A snake does not make a lot of noise. The snake does not talk. Isn’t that interesting! A snake is powerful because you never know where the snake is. There is not a lot of noise associated with a snake.
“HARMLESS AS DOVES”
This word harmless means “simple, innocent, or unmixed”. Doves do not get burdened down with many things. In fact, doves are a sign of peace in the Word of God. Their life is simple. Every day they focus on what needs to be done and they do it. Doves are not arguing with anybody, hurting anyone, or fighting others. Doves do not create problems. I would assume you have not heard in the news lately of a person being attacked and mauled by a dove. It is just not in their nature. That is something to think about.
“BEWARE OF MEN”
This word beware means to constantly keep in your mind. It means to always be mindful that we human beings have faults. We are sinners. God says to “put no confidence in the flesh,” even your own. This is an encouragement not to be gullible, blindly trusting, or to put more stock in what the person says, than what the Word of God says. Our instruction, guidance, and truth should never come from an individual, but should always come from the Lord. You just can’t fully trust the flesh.