"They hatch cockatrice' eggs, and weave the spider's web: he that eateth of their eggs dieth, and that which is crushed breaketh out into a viper," Isa 59:5.

Webster's Christian Series tells us that Cockatrice means, "The king-serpent, a serpent imagined to proceed from a cock's egg." A viper is, "1) A serpent . . . whose bite is remarkably venomous, 2) A person or thing mischievous or malignant."

To hold our text in the context it was written we must first consider Isa 58. Therein we see how the Lord caused Isaiah to cry aloud to His people to show them why they were approaching unto God, but received no answer to their prayers.

God tells His people therein, as He does in Eze 33:30-32, that their hearts were divided. "They hear thy words, but they will not do them: for with their mouth they shew much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness."

The chapter before us begins by telling us that, "The Lord's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither His ear heavy that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you, that He will not hear."

As I pointed out, God's main controversy with His people was the sins of the heart. The mind is the womb of the heart, and the thoughts are the seeds and\or the eggs. Evil thoughts are cockatrice eggs which will hatch into serpents, if they are not immediately destroyed. Is it not true that all too often we allow evil thoughts to harbor in our minds about our neighbor?

When our minds become a stronghold of Satan, these strongholds must be pulled down. "Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ," 2 Co 10:4-5.

Oh, beloved, that our eyes may be raised by faith unto that blessed Redeemer to deliver us from the power of this sin. If we feed on these evil thoughts, or "cockatrice eggs," our text says, "he that eateth of their eggs dieth."

If someone misunderstands you or says some unkind things about you do you allow those things to harbor in your mind? This is hatching cockatrice eggs, which is venom or bitterness in your heart. As a man, "thinketh in his heart so is he," Pr 23:7. Christians are to cast down such thoughts as soon as they appear. We are not to entertain these thoughts in our mind, but kill them as soon as they arise.

We may not wish for revenge, even in the secret thought of our heart, He 10:30. If we would obtain that revenge by crushing our adversary, our text says, "that which is crushed breaketh out into a viper." Oh, beloved, revenge gives place to the devil. We must remember that God knows the secret thoughts of every heart. Do you harbor hard thoughts, allowing these cockatrice eggs to hatch in your heart? Have these sins, "hid His face from you, that He will not hear?"

If we want God to answer our prayers, we must observe what our Saviour says. "And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have aught against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses," MAT 11:25. Amen.

Beyond thy utmost wants
His love and power can bless.
To Praying souls He always grants
More than they can express.