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Wise As Serpents And Innocent As Doves 062211
From Matthew 10 comes today’s title and subject. But to be wise as serpents and innocent as doves is very difficult indeed; it seems a wary and reluctant non-resistance is called for. First, to avoid problems, but to enter still with innocence into danger, hazard or difficulty as Christ leads us.
Despite serpents and doves seeming contradictory, Jesus was like this. He knew what his enemies were doing to him and to the early Christians, yet he remained innocent and non-resistant to the end.
Pray for our peace and wisdom as we go into the world today.
1O Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger, or discipline me in your wrath.
2Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am languishing; O Lord, heal me, for my bones are shaking with terror.
3My soul also is struck with terror, while you, O Lord—how long?
4Turn, O Lord, save my life; deliver me for the sake of your steadfast love.
5For in death there is no remembrance of you; in Sheol who can give you praise?
6I am weary with my moaning; every night I flood my bed with tears; I drench my couch with my weeping.
7My eyes waste away because of grief; they grow weak because of all my foes.
8Depart from me, all you workers of evil, for the Lord has heard the sound of my weeping.
9The Lord has heard my supplication; the Lord accepts my prayer.
10All my enemies shall be ashamed and struck with terror; they shall turn back, and in a moment be put to shame.
38Now Shephatiah son of Mattan, Gedaliah son of Pashhur, Jucal son of Shelemiah, and Pashhur son of Malchiah heard the words that Jeremiah was saying to all the people, 2Thus says the Lord, Those who stay in this city shall die by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence; but those who go out to the Chaldeans shall live; they shall have their lives as a prize of war, and live. 3Thus says the Lord, This city shall surely be handed over to the army of the king of Babylon and be taken. 4Then the officials said to the king, “This man ought to be put to death, because he is discouraging the soldiers who are left in this city, and all the people, by speaking such words to them. For this man is not seeking the welfare of this people, but their harm.” 5King Zedekiah said, “Here he is; he is in your hands; for the king is powerless against you.” 6So they took Jeremiah and threw him into the cistern of Malchiah, the king’s son, which was in the court of the guard, letting Jeremiah down by ropes. Now there was no water in the cistern, but only mud, and Jeremiah sank in the mud. 7Ebed-melech the Ethiopian, a eunuch in the king’s house, heard that they had put Jeremiah into the cistern. The king happened to be sitting at the Benjamin Gate, 8So Ebed-melech left the king’s house and spoke to the king, 9“My lord king, these men have acted wickedly in all they did to the prophet Jeremiah by throwing him into the cistern to die there of hunger, for there is no bread left in the city.” 10Then the king commanded Ebed-melech the Ethiopian, “Take three men with you from here, and pull the prophet Jeremiah up from the cistern before he dies.” 11So Ebed-melech took the men with him and went to the house of the king, to a wardrobe of the storehouse, and took from there old rags and worn-out clothes, which he let down to Jeremiah in the cistern by ropes. 12Then Ebed-melech the Ethiopian said to Jeremiah, “Just put the rags and clothes between your armpits and the ropes.” Jeremiah did so. 13Then they drew Jeremiah up by the ropes and pulled him out of the cistern. And Jeremiah remained in the court of the guard.
5These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “Go nowhere among the Gentiles, and enter no town of the Samaritans, 6but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7As you go, proclaim the good news, ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ 8Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. You received without payment; give without payment. 9Take no gold, or silver, or copper in your belts, 10no bag for your journey, or two tunics, or sandals, or a staff; for laborers deserve their food. 11Whatever town or village you enter, find out who in it is worthy, and stay there until you leave. 12As you enter the house, greet it. 13If the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it; but if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. 14If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet as you leave that house or town. 15Truly I tell you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.
16“See, I am sending you out like sheep into the midst of wolves; so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. 17Beware of them, for they will hand you over to councils and flog you in their synagogues; 18and you will be dragged before governors and kings because of me, as a testimony to them and the Gentiles. 19When they hand you over, do not worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say; for what you are to say will be given to you at that time; 20for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. 21Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death; 22and you will be hated by all because of my name. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. 23When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next; for truly I tell you, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.
The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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- Judgment Day — Sermon #8 on the Sermon on the Mount (pastorbobcornwall.blogspot.com)
- Devil’s Ink — Review (pastorbobcornwall.blogspot.com)
- “How Can We Say ‘We Are Wise?'” ( Jeremiah 8:8, NIV ) by Carley Evans (lambskinny.wordpress.com)
- Jeremiahs, Will You Please Step Forward? (revelation217.wordpress.com)