We were finally home after a long but wonderful Sabbath full of activities. I was fumbling for my keys under our tenuous porch light as Lyli stood by swatting mosquitoes. When I lifted my head my eyes caught a thin form of banded red, black and yellow resting in the shadow of the oregano plant right next to the door.

“Hold still, there’s a snake.” I told Lyli quietly.


“Right there!” I pointed. “Red on black, you’re okay Jack. Red on yellow can kill a fellow!” I repeated the old rhyme to myself while I took a closer look. “Yep, he’s poisonous. A real choral!”

I let Lyli quickly in the door, and grabbed my machete. I struck, and the serpent struck back, further confirming my suspicion that he wasn’t a false choral. Thankfully my three-foot machete was longer than he was, and I dispatched him in short order.

“How did you see that?” Lyli asked me, surprised at her normally unobservant husband.

“I don’t know. By God’s grace I suppose!”

In the penumbra of these last days, may God grant us the grace to see the serpent at our door. We cannot let down our guard for a minute, especially not after a period of arduous labor for the Lord. Especially not when we think we’ve already made it to safety.

I was reminded of a passage from the book of Amos about a people who claim to be watching for the “day of the Lord” but are full of sin and transgressions.


“Woe unto you that desire the day of the LORD! to what end [is] it for you? the day of the LORD [is] darkness, and not light.

As if a man did flee from a lion, and a bear met him; or went into the house, and leaned his hand on the wall, and a serpent bit him” (5:18-19)


Perhaps they think it impossible to be freed from these things because they trust experience over the word of God. I read about this morning too, in Testimonies for the church volume three chapter six. That’s how Adam fell in the first place. He trusted Eve’s experience over the Word of God. Let’s not make the same mistake today, or we will be bitten by the serpent at the door.


Kody & Lyli Kostenko