Killed with His Own Poison

By James W. Adams

In Southwest Texas where I was reared, they is a species of cactus known by the Mexicans as “tasajilla.” (I cannot vouch for the spelling.) It is made up of long jointed stems having extremely long thorns with wicked points. In that section there are also many rattlesnakes, enemies of man and beast, some attaining a length of six or seven feet. This venomous reptile is, however plagued by enemies. One of these is a long-legged bird known popularly as a “Road-runner” and by the Mexicans as a “Paisano.” It is commonly seen running across and along the highways of Southwest Texas. It has long black legs and beak and is mottled gray and black in color. Many rattlesnakes are executed by this innocuous looking creature.

The execution takes place in the following fashion: The bird will find the snake asleep; he will carefully gather a supply of the little spine-like joints of the “tasajilla” bush and with them build a fence or corral around the sleeping snake; having finished the fence, the bird will then fly at the snake and scream at in a high-pitched tone characteristic of the “Road-runner;” the snake will awaken and try to crawl away, but the spines of the “tasajilla” fence will prick his belly and he will draw back; the “Road-runner” will continue to fly at the snake and draw back quickly all the while uttering its shrill cry; the snake will strike and miss and be rewarded for its effort by pricking its tender underside on the “tasajilla;” finally, the snake will become so enraged and frustrated that he will bite himself and be destroyed by his own venom.

As in much of nature, there is a lesson for man in this circumstance. All of us, even Christians, are two-fold beings-body and spirit, animal man and spiritual man, carnal mind and spiritual mind. The animal nature of man, prompted by lust and passion when not controlled, is filled with deadly venom much as the rattlesnake. The Devil and his emissaries are well aware of this fact, hence constantly seek to arouse in the Christian this sleeping, deadly beast. Worldly men and false brethren are often tools of Satan in his efforts to destroy God’s children. Finding they cannot seduce God’s people otherwise, they will resort to persecution, innuendo, defamation of character, and misrepresentation of many species in an effort to stir up the Christian’s animal passion and cause him in fighting back to destroy himself with his own poison.

Christians must oppose evil and false doctrine within and without the church, but let us take care! The Devil and his emissaries are not limited as to weapons, but the Christian must not employ “carnal weapons” (2 Cor. 10:4) in his warfare. Let us not in anger and frustration generated by this fact destroy ourselves. Let us humbly and meekly bear the onslaughts of the wicked employing only truth as our weapon in withstanding his attack. Bitterness, hate, evil-speaking, innuendo, misrepresentation are the “carnal weapons” of the evil one. Faith, truth, loyalty, purity, and works of faith are the armaments of Christians. With these God can and will give us the victory!

Truth Magazine XIX: 49, pp. 781-782
October 23, 1975