SERPENT OR SAVIOR?

By: Ely Lagajino

“Lord, help!” they cried in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. He sent out his word and healed them, snatching them from the door of death. – Psalm 107:19-20

​A long time ago, my Lola and I went to market to buy some herbal medicine for rheumatism. The vendor we were looking for was a man who used a live cobra curled around his hand as his sales talk; to attract customers. His medicine is an antidote for snake bites?

​But when we got there the man was not around, but the bottled medicines and the box with the snake were left alone.  Other vendors told us that the snake had bitten the man, but he managed to keep his pet inside the box. He was rushed to the hospital but was declared dead upon arrival.

According to his friend, the snake had no teeth, but later, its wisdom tooth grew and it bit the owner.                       

In the 19th century, the US adopted Caduceus as a symbol for the medical world instead of Asclepius’s rod with only one snake. The Caduceus a winged staff with two intertwined snakes is the symbol of the Greek god Hermes, the staff symbolizes healing.  Today the world uses it as the standard symbol for medicine or the medical field, the work of most of today’s frontlines.

​The Caduceus and Asclepius design in relation to healing, has a biblical origin too.

When God withdraws His protection from the Israelites who accuse Him and Moses as their worst enemy, the snakes attack them. There is no other choice but to ask Moses to pray to the Lord to take away the serpents.

​God commanded Moses to make a brass serpent and raise it on a pole. Anybody who looks with faith would be healed and live. Friends of dying victims helped them look at the brazen serpent, and they lived. (Numbers 21:5-9) The Israelite knew that the healing power is from God alone. 

​We cannot save ourselves from the sin pandemic. Our only hope to be saved is through Christ alone.  

                       PP p. 469-471

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