Feb 26, 2008


In Deltona, Florida, Brian Radenberg wants to keep 50 venomous snakes in his home.   Apparently, he has a permit so city officials can't really do anything.   The most they can do is pass an ordinance that requires Mr. Radenberg to post a sign outside.   "Warning, venomous snakes inside...


I need one of those for my house.   I keep getting door-to-door solicitors knocking. It would be a great line. "Can you just wait a minute?   I need to put my viper back in its cage...   "Would you like to come in for coffee? Me and my snake, Fang, were just snuggling on the couch...   "Oooh.   I would love to try your cleaner.   My snake just left a mess on the counter and I wonder if your cleaner would work on that?..


Many people have a phobia about snakes. The technical term is Ophidiophobia.     I don't fear snakes, but I have a healthy respect for them.   I'm not sure what the difference is between healthy fear or unhealthy fear.   I suppose it has to do with the degree to which the fear controls your life.


For example, some robbers use people's fear of snakes to their great advantage. In a story a few years back, two people were taking a late night stroll in Camden, New Jersey when they were robbed at snakepoint. A car pulled up near the couple and two men got out, shoving a black snake in their faces. Then two other men got out and went through the victims' pockets. Police said the robbers made off with $20 in cash, a $30 personal stereo and a $95 watch.


I think anyone would be frightened in that circumstance.


But what about our fear of God?   Is that a healthy fear or not?   Luther said we are to fear and love God.   I guess it is a healthy fear when you realize that God is the Lord of the universe and deserves respect.   It is unhealthy when you believe God is constantly punishing you because of some unforgiven sin.


But we do not have to fear God in an unhealthy way.   We know that even though God is just, we do not need to fear his wrath.   Jesus took that upon Himself.


Now if I could get the door-to-door solicitors to fear God, that would be a step in the right direction.



Pastor David Hook


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