“Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made.”
“So teach us to number our days, That we may gain a heart of wisdom.”
”...The heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him.”
“Be angry, and do not sin*”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath,
(Ephesians 4:26 / *Psalm 4:4)
This teaching is similar to Jesus’ challenging commandment to be in the world while not of the world.
“Wise as a dove, gentle as a serpent”
“Wise as a serpent, gentle as a serpent”
“Wise as a dove, gentle as a dove”
Moses, Daniel, Paul — each known for wisdom and gentleness.
Our Covert War
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”
New King James Version (NKJV)
Persecutions Are Coming
16 “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. 17 But beware of men, for they will deliver you up to councils and scourge you in their synagogues. 18 You will be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles. 19 But when they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak; 20 for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.
21 “Now brother will deliver up brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death. 22 And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved. 23 When they persecute you in this city, flee to another. For assuredly, I say to you, you will not have gone through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes.
24 “A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. 25 It is enough for a disciple that he be like his teacher, and a servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more will they call those of his household! 26 Therefore do not fear them. For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known.