Snakes And Stones

Matthew 7:9-11, “Or what man is there among you who, when his son asks for a loaf, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!”

I want to get right to the point. I want us to think about a little different angle when it comes to this whole issue of God’s giving and our receiving. This morning we are going to focus on what God doesn’t give. That’s right. If you find yourself in a place of genuine need today, here are a couple of things you can be certain that God will not give you in answer to your prayers.

First of all, God will never give you a stone. No, I haven’t lost my mind. Follow my line of thinking for a minute and this should all bear out in the end. The son approaches his father with a genuine need. The young boy is hungry. “Father, can I have a loaf of bread?” What does the father give him? Hopefully, a loaf of bread. Although I can’t be certain about that, I can tell you what he doesn’t give his son…a stone. That’s right. God will never answer your prayers with something that will not satisfy your need. When you are hungry what could possibly be more useless than a stone. Can’t eat it, that much is for sure. It’s an absolutely useless gift. God will never give you anything that is useless. Every gift from God has purpose, one that relates to your present need and request.

Secondly, God will never give you a snake. Remember the son from the previous paragraph? He is still hungry. But this time he asks his father for a fish. Again, the text doesn’t tell us what the father gives his child. However, it does tell us what he won’t give him…a snake. During your times of genuine need God will never give you anything that will possibly harm you. The son trusts his father. The father is not going to violate that trust by giving him something that could potentially hurt him. Every gift from God has benefit, it is given to us out of a love that longs only to protect and bless not to harm.

You know, sometimes our eyes and our minds can fail us. There are days when I look at the gifts of God and all I see are snakes and stones. Usually on those days I have bought the lie of the enemy and allowed my feelings and fears to fool my heart and trick my eyes. Seems crazy doesn’t it? Who would ever confuse a loaf for a stone? Or a snake for a fish? Don’t know about you but I do it all the time. The real tragedy is that I end up tossing away the gifts of God because I don’t trust them. Now, that’s crazy.

Ok, this would be a good time to review. God will never give us anything useless. Every gift from God has purpose. God will never give us anything harmful. Every gift from God has benefit. Makes sense? Good. Look at the things that God has given to you. What do you see now? I don’t know what He either has or will give you but I do know this, He will never give you a stone or a snake. God only gives good gifts. It’s simply not possible for Him to give or do anything else.

If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!”