Today’s Scripture: Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? Genesis 3:1

There was a hunter in northern California who was climbing up a rock cliff. As he approached the top ledge, he peeked over and saw a coiled rattlesnake to his right. The snake struck at him, narrowly missing his right ear. However, the fangs dug into the hunter’s wool turtleneck, and the force of the strike wrapped the snake around the hunter’s neck.

Already in a precarious position on the rock ledge, he grabbed the head of the snake. As the snake coiled tighter, the hunter lost his grip on the rocks and began sliding back down into the gorge with brush and sharp rocks beating his face and body.

Determined not to let go of the snake, the hunter squeezed as hard as he could, hoping to choke the snake. Finally, the snake began to go limp and died. When the hunter tried to throw the limp snake into the brush, the muscles in his hand were clenched so tightly that he could not let go of the snake.

Though this man barely avoided a snakebite, the rest of humanity is not so fortunate. The Bible tells us that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Early on in Scripture, we read about sin, a snake, and a garden. The snake deceived our great-great-great-great-grandmother. Our great-great-great-grandfather ate of the fruit, and he was bitten as well. Both of them now had the venom of sin coursing through their veins.

Just as the hunter would have died had he been bitten by the rattlesnake, we, too, will die eternally if we do not receive the antidote for the venom of sin. God has provided that antidote, but it must be received by faith.

Devotional by Jim Scudder, Jr.