Friday, May 23, 2014

Snare


This is from the blog Daily Meditation:

Ezekiel 12:13: And I will spread my net over him, and he shall be taken in my snare. And I will bring him to Babylon, the land of the Chaldeans, yet he shall not see it, and he shall die there.

The theme of the snare runs through the bible. In the book of GenesisAdam and Evefell into the deceptive trap of the devil (Genesis 3). The serpent approached Eve with a proposition, acting as if he was only looking out for her best interest, but it was a trap, a distraction from the will of God.

People around us come with similar propositions, they seems to have your best intention in mind. They may even mean well, not knowing their advice if taken would be nothing more than a major distraction from the will of God, from the best of God.

During the time Job was down and seemingly out with many troubles (Job 2:5, 9), his wife told him to curse God and if he was struck by him in judgment of death (showing her jaundiced view of God) them he will die and he will be free from pain. His wife wanted the best for him, but her definition of the best was short-sighted at best and satanically inspired at worst.

It will like cutting your nose to spite your face. It will like cutting off the head to solve an headache problem. In the confusion of his difficulties, to a lesser man that proposition would have been appealing. But Job said that even if God strikes him he will still trust (Job 13:15). He did not bite that bait; on that snare, he passed.

David wrote about the snare of the fowler (Psalm 91:3). In the snare, the benefit is presented while the danger is hidden, like the fine print, too fine to be see, and the smooth talker trying to sell you a broken down vehicle.

Before you take an advice check in your heart, and ask yourself what God is saying? Because something is appealing does not mean it is good. Because something glitters does not mean it is gold. Because everyone is doing it does not means you should. Because it is the fad does not mean you should tag along. You are not a photocopy. you are an original.

Anything that pulls you away from the will of God is a snare, it doesn’t matter how it is presented. Paul said that Demas departed from him having loved this world (2Timothy 4:10). Demas was trapped by the love of the world (1John 2:15-17), as he was distracted from being part of Paul’s ministry team.

When Jesus told the disciples that he would soon be hung on the cross, Peter thought he was taking things too far and told him to perish the thought (Mark 8:31-33). But Jesus rebuked him, saying: get behind me Satan, you are not after the will of God but self-will.

Abraham experienced a snare from his wife Sarah, she gave him the suggestion the way out of their childlessness that he should sleep with their Egyptian maid (Genesis 16:1-9, 21:8-15). It sounded cool, culturally acceptable, and naturally sensible.

But that was the end to the peace in his household. First the pregnant Hagar acted up against Sarah, and after Ishmael (standing for the self-will of Abraham) was born, about a decade later Isaac (standing for the will of God, the word of God, the promise) was born. And Ishmael (self-will) became a threat to Isaac (God’s will), mocking him. So Abraham had to die to his own will. He had to chase Ishmael away. And it was painful for him to do that. That was the cross he had to carry, he had to die to self-will to be able to elevate the will of God to its place of preeminent. But what was meant to be a means for him to have children turned out to be a snare. On the long run, Ishmael did nothing but complicate Abraham’s life. Self-will always does that. It is a trap.

For David, Bathsheba was a snare. It was supposed to be an unannounced adulterous event, but it made him a bull’s-eye for God’s judgment (2Samuel 11). Same with Adam and Eve. What was sold to them as a good thing, eating the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, made them enter into the judgment of death. If that was not a trap, then nothing else is.

The temptations of Jesus by the devil were snares. He told him, bow down and worship me and I will give you the kingdoms of the world and their glory (Luke 4:1-13). Jesus did not yield. He was able to judge the situation correctly, and dodge the satanic snare. Paul said: we should not give any foothold to the devil, lest he takes advantage of us (2Corinthians 2:11).

Because what you want is being offered does not mean you should take it, it may come with strings attached.

When Pharaoh first agreed to let the children of Israel go, to worship God in the wilderness (Exodus 10:8-11, 24, 12:31), he gave some conditions. He said they should not take their children with them, or that they should leave their cattle.

But Moses refused, he had his eyes on the will of God, which is full freedom for the children of Israel, just as He spoke to Abraham (Genesis 15:13-16), that his children will be enslaved in a foreign land and by the supernatural hand of God, they will released after 400 years in the land.

The will of God is freedom, total freedom, because to the limit that we are free from anything else is the limit is the limit we can serve God. Therefore God sent Moses with a message to Pharaoh: let my people go that they may serve me.

God does not want anything holding you down, no ideology, no sentiment, no sin. The book of Hebrews teaches that we should lay aside every weight and sin which doth easily beset us and run with patience the race that is set before us (Hebrews 12:1-2).

Paul said he was careful so that after he had preached to others he will not be a cast away, having been snared (1Corinthians 9:27). He doesn’t not want anything holding him back from the fullness of God, and he wants the same thing for those he wrote to.

He doesn’t want them snared, he doesn’t want their affection taken over by anything/one else but Christ, knowing that any attachment other than to him is a trap in disguise.

Jesus and Paul warned about the trap of money. Jesus said we cannot serve God and Mammon (Matthew 6:24), we cannot serve two masters, we cannot swear allegiance to Mammon and God at the same time. Attachment to money is a distraction from God. Paul said that the love of money is the root of all evil (1Tiimothy 6:10).

That was Judas’ undoing. He was in charge of the money bag for the twelve and Jesus (John 12:1-6). He stole some of it. He sought to get money by selling Jesus out (Matthew 26:15), fully entrapped by money.

And later he killed himself, racked by guilt for betraying Jesus. Suicide is indicative of a man in a snare. Ditto depression. In a snare you do not see a way out, seeing everything from the fulcrum of your pain or even need.

Negatives habits are snares, they are shackles that we should be free from. Because Jesus was free, he can help us to be free. He said that the enemy came to him and found nothing in him (John 14:30). He was free from all satanic entanglements, of the mind, spirit and body.

So because Jesus is free we are also free, because he is truth and when we grow in his knowledge we grow in freedom. Understand that the “truth” that does not lead you to more freedom is a lie, is a snare.

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