Rulers and rattlers have a pretty bad reputation. And that’s not anything new. David questions whether they are really interested in what is right, and associates political rhetoric with rattlesnake poison in Ps.58:
“Is this any way to run a country? Is there an honest politician in the house?
Those in charge often abuse their position of power. They refuse to listen and frequently put a political spin on reality that will suit their agenda. And that’s not just the case in national, provincial and local politics, it’s unfortunately often also true in religious communities. Ezekiel talked about false shepherds who only pursue their own agendas, exploiting the flock, and Jesus predicted persecution of his followers by the religious establishment: “You must be on your guard. You will be handed over to the local councils and flogged in the synagogues.” (NIV Mk.13:9). John writes about a certain Diotrephes in his third epistle who engaged in these kinds of politics (MSG 3.Jn.9-10):
“Earlier I wrote something along this line to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves being in charge, denigrates my counsel. If I come, you can be sure I’ll hold him to account for spreading vicious rumors about us. As if that weren’t bad enough, he not only refuses hospitality to traveling Christians but tries to stop others from welcoming them. Worse yet, instead of inviting them in he throws them out.”
Unfortunately, church history records many of these abuses of power, where religious leadership does not consist of virtuous servants, but of venomous serpents: “poison, lethal rattlesnake poison, drips from their forked tongues.” Instead of furthering a life-giving community, they poison the atmosphere.
In 2.Peter 2, the apostle describes such corrupt leadership in detail and in the following chapter, he encourages the believers to recall the words of the prophets and Jesus Himself that all of this evil will be judged and come to an end. And then we will experience, what he says in v.13 (VOICE):
“What will happen next, and what we hope for, is what God promised: a new heaven and a new earth where justice reigns.”
This is going to be the time, when even rattlesnakes can no longer do any damage, as Isaiah prophesied:
“The nursing child will crawl over rattlesnake dens, the toddler stick his hand down the hole of a serpent. Neither animal nor human will hurt or kill on my holy mountain. The whole earth will be brimming with knowing God-Alive, a living knowledge of God ocean-deep, ocean-wide.” (MSG Is.11:8&9)
But we are not there yet, so what can we do in the meantime? Since we cannot necessarily control other people’s action, what’s the best thing we can do? The same question is being asked by Peter (in NIV 2.Pet.3:11-14):
“what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming… So then, dear friends, since
Our focus needs to be on Jesus! There is no benefit in allowing our thoughts to anxiously revolve around what other people are saying. Much of that is rattlesnake poison. We need to focus on communing and communicating with Jesus. As Paul says in Phil.4 NIV:
“4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
That’s the antidote to rattlesnake poison!
We are a pastoral couple named Stefan & Heidi König. We have many years of experience in various ministries, and are thankful that God has given us this property to use as a way to bless others who need a place to relax and reconnect with Him.
Kingfisher Spiritual Direction
Direct your heart to Jesus and restore your soul. If you need to hear from God, to grow deeper with Him, consider spiritual direction. An ancient discipline of soul care, Heidi is trained to prayerfully lead you in this practice.