This reading is based on Psalm 58, read in accordance with the Revived by His Word initiative of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.
"Their poison is like the poison of a serpent; they are like the deaf cobra that stops its ear, which will not heed the voice of charmers, charming ever so skillfully." Ps 58: 4, 5
I don't know that the contention of this Psalm is so much with the wicked as it is with the state of wickedness; with sinners, as with the state of sinfulness. This so because at any point within ones probation one may repent and turn and live. But then there are those of our fellow humans who have given themselves without remorse over to evil, so much so that they have become the very personification of evil. On such, but more-so what they represent, the judgement of God is sure. But what should be our attitude to these individuals?
Verse 5 contains what I believe is the attitude we should have to the wicked, who are described as snakes - we're snake charmers! Snake charmers don't try to break a snake's back or to cut off its head; the charmer instead seeks to elicit its trust and control (modify/influence) its behaviour. This is what Jesus desires all His disciples to do in reaching the unsaved; we are to charm them, elicit their trust, and influence their behaviour. In ensuring the skills of His disciples (charmers) Jesus trained them for three and one half years then gave them the gift of the Holy Spirit.
But these snakes are poisonous - one sting/bite could be deadly. Hence, care should be taken in dealing with them. One thing that will certainly help is to know how snakes behave; be able to get into their minds. As such, Jesus says in Matt 10: 16, "be ye therefore wise as serpents."
The world has a charm all its own that has been proven to be hard to resist - even by those sent out as charmers of another kind. We are well advised to "tarry... until (we) be endued with power from on high." Luke 24: 49. Acts 1: 8 says, "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses (charmers) unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth."
Father, through our words and by our actions, as accomplished through the Holy Spirit let us charm the world with the Good News of Salvation as we woo the world to Christ we pray, in His name, amen.
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