Weekly Pastoral Message prepared by Rev. Murray Adamthwaite
for Sunday 7th December 1997
From the Pastor: Curious Comparisons X
"Like a deaf cobra that stops up its ear, so that it does not hear the voice of charmers, or a skillful caster of spells". Psalm 58:4-5|
Most people are fascinated by travel documentaries, or film footage of lands
as yet unvisited. When it comes to a country like India one of the
fascinations in such movies is the traditional snake charmer, playing
seductive music and waving his pipe in the process. Then, before long, up
comes the deadly cobra from the basket, seemingly mesmerised by the charmer's
tune, with apparently no intention of striking its venomous fangs at either
the charmer or any bystander. The psalmist in Psalm 58 likens godless and
wicked men to the snake. They have an inner perversion, part of their
make-up from birth (Psalm 58:3) which is like the venom of a snake. But
further: from a holy God's viewpoint they are like the charmed cobra.
You see, the psalmist sees through the common myth that the cobra is
pacified by the music. In reality, the cobra, or any other snake, is deaf.
The mesmerism comes from the careful waving of the pipe; music has nothing
to do with it.
Similarly, all the sweet overtures from the God of love, or all the stern
warnings from the God of justice and wrath are like music to the cobra: they
fall on deaf ears. There is simply no sense of hearing in that direction at all.
Readers will recognize this as the old doctrine of "original sin". No, it was no
invention of the church father Augustine, as unbelievers and others will have
you believe. It is simply the teaching of scripture, as here, and grim
experience. Humanists may scoff, as they do, and boast of "original virtue", but
the facts of life are solidly against them. The only solution to this dreadful
fact of life is the "life that is in His Son" (1 John 5:11). Do you "have the
Son", and therefore have life?