Jun 3, 2011

A tail of two creatures

Is it just me or have we been overtaken by lizards? Every time I have gone outside over the last few weeks I have seen them. They are strange creatures. The one outside my door is always doing pushups. Is God trying to tell me something? And boy, are they quick. When I was a kid I used to catch lizards. But you have to be fast. And you can't catch them by their tail.

A lizard's tail stores fat. But God also designed it as a defensive mechanism. If a predator comes after a lizard and grabs it by the tail, the tail will separate. The predator is left with a wiggly tail while the lizard runs to safety. Even though a lizard can grow back a new tail, it takes time and it isn't as large and full as the previous tail.

The first time I tried to catch a lizard, I grabbed his tail. The tail came off and the lizard scuttled away. It was cool, but I felt bad. At the time I didn't know the tail would grow back. I imagined the poor lizard living the rest of his life without a tail.

I don't think I could catch a lizard now. Like basketball players, I think the Tucson lizards are faster than the Phoenix lizards. But there's also this reason: I associate lizards with Satan.

You see in Genesis, the serpent tempted Eve in the garden. After the fall of man, God cursed the serpent: "Cursed are you above all livestock and all wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life." (Genesis 3:14) Now most people associate the serpent with a snake – but that is what the serpent looked like after the curse. Before the curse the serpent looked like a snake but had legs. What picture does that draw for you? That's right. A lizard.

In truth, Genesis never says the serpent is a snake. The Hebrew word is Nahash which means a crafty tempter. Elsewhere the Bible says Satan has a high intelligence. He must have been extremely devious to tempt Adam and Eve. None of the reptiles in our backyard fit that description. Yet, every time I look at a lizard, I wonder...

But we do not need to fear Satan – no matter what he looks like. He can only grab our tail. Jesus grabs our whole body and He never lets go. As Paul says, "No power on earth, nor angels or demons... can separate us from God's love in Jesus" (Romans 8:38) Besides, the day Jesus died, He crushed Satan's head.


Pastor David Hook

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