January 24, 2011

Saved from snares

A “fowler” hunts birds. When I was a child, the comic books showed boys building bird traps by putting a cardboard box on a stick with fishing line tied to it. They put bait inside the box and hid behind the bushes. When a bird came, they pulled the string and the box dropped over the bird.

Other traps or snares are less or more sophisticated. Their value over guns or shotguns is that their meat is not damage by pellets. However, a snare works only if the hapless bird is interested in the bait. 

For He will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. (Psalm 91:3)
For me, this word picture depicts two ways the Lord delivers me. One is getting me out of the snare after I have been trapped. That is, when I see something that appeals to my sinful nature and go for it, then I wind up boxed in by some sort of sin. The bait could be from people hurting or provoking me, or just doing something they shouldn’t and I wind up doing it too. My “box” could be gossip, rude speech, a hissy-fit, or any number of things.

When the trap falls and I am caught, my God makes me aware of my error, but the deed has been done. What now? If I were a helpless bird, my goose would be cooked (pardon the cliche and the horrible pun). However, I am not a mere bird but a child of God, helpless but still Your child.

You promise to deliver me from snares and from the power of my sin. Deliverance is Your specialty. You do it in the same manner that You delivered me from the penalty of sin. 1 John 1:9 says that if I confess my sin, You are faithful and just to forgive my sin and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. With confession and forgiveness, the guilt is gone. With cleansing, my desire to sin gets a good scrubbing.

Sometimes my bait-snatch involves others because my sin has hurt them too. I must also offer confession and ask forgiveness from them. Forgiveness is always Your way of deliverance.

A second way that You deliver me from that fowler’s snare is by working in my life so that I lose interest in the bait. That is, I walk by the temptation because it just isn’t one. This is my preferred way, but before it happens, I usually have to experience a few episodes of being caught in the snare.

Just as some birds are slower to learn than others, I consider myself quite a dodo, yet Your patience is greater than the fowler who holds the fishing line. You know what I need to keep me out of that snare. I know what Spurgeon says is true; no bird of paradise shall die in the fowler’s net. This is not because I am a wise owl but because You are my Savior. You know and care when a sparrow falls, and You are incredibly faithful in keeping Your promises, including this one!

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1 comment:

Debbie said...

I'm a dodo too and so thankful for Him and for you! God bless you!