The Snare of the Fowler

I’ve been reading the Doorposts blog this month and participating in their Psalm 91 bible study. I’m a little behind. The study is ending now, and I’m only on day 19, but it’s been a good time for me of study and memorization.  I have the children doing the children’s portion of the lessons (They’re on day 11), and it is good to delve deeply into something together.

I have really been enjoying this study, and I’m so glad today that I started taking some extra time to read Spurgeon’s “Snare of the Fowler.”  It was an optional assignment on day 19 (Sundays are always a catch-up day/optional day if you’re keeping caught up with the study.) Something that really stood out to me as I was reading was the first point on how the snare is connected with secrecy.  This is Spurgeon’s quote:

“Ah!” says one, “if I thought such-and-such a thing were really wrong; if I were perfectly convinced of its wrongfulness, I would give it up.” It is just there the difficulty lies. So would the bird say: “If I thought that really were a trap, I would not enter it; if I were perfectly persuaded that net would entangle me, I would not fly to such-and-such a spot; I would not approach there at all, if I were sure it would be my destruction.”

There were a couple of things that stood out to me and convicted me as I was reading Spurgeon’s words.

So many times I have found myself in sin, and I realize I went down that path by doing something that I didn’t feel like was wrong beforehand or that I was apathetic to morally, so these lines really spoke to me. Perhaps I shouldn’t have really watched that television show or read that book.  Maybe I spent money on something pleasurable and then could not take care of the bills or give money to God the way I know I should have done.  I didn’t realize at the time that I was going to wind my way into poor financial stewardship or into supporting television that was going to break my moral code, but when I realized what was happening, I certainly didn’t stop.  I found myself trapped by my interest in the show or my lust for new things.

I’ve also often used the phrase “perfectly convinced of its wrongfulness” as an excuse to keep doing something that I really knew was sinful. If I were truly convinced using that word was wrong or watching that television show was wrong, I would just stop. That’s not true for me. It’s my excuse to do wrong and call it right.  I might even say, “Well, that’s a gray area.” Whenever I say that, I tend to know that I am sinning and that I’m making excuses to cover my sin.

It’s a pervasive problem, and realizing that it is one of the ways I’ve been snared so many times by the tempter is quite embarrassing and convicting to me.  I had never realized or thought about how the “snare of the fowler” is something that I may not realize I’m getting myself into on the road ahead is just one more reminder to me of the importance of Peter’s command in I Peter 5:8 to Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: That is a sobering and serious thought indeed.

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