How to avoid getting hooked by evil
“Yet the evil still increased, and, like the parasite of barnacles on a ship, if it did not destroy the structure, it obstructed its fair, comfortable progress in the path of life.” —William Banting
There is a bumper sticker that says, "I would rather be out fishing thinking about God, than in church thinking about fishing." Personally, as a pastor and a fisherman, I would like to think that we can think about fishing and God at the same time! Here goes:
The art of fishing is really all about the art of the lure. If you can lure the fish to the hook thinking he’s about to have a meal, he's going to get eaten instead. One of my favorite lures has a “treble hook”—three different prongs all in one. If a fish takes the bait, whamo!, you’ve got him.
Here’s the tie in with God: Sin is like a treble hook. Once you take the bait of temptation, sin snags you in three ways. Look at the original sin in Genesis when the woman took the bait of Satan’s lie and ate of the tree of good and evil.
When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.(Genesis 3:6)
What happened then? Whamo! They got hooked on the first hook of sin, the hook of shame.
“Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked…” (Genesis 3:7)
Right after shame, they were pierced by the hook of blame.
The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”… The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” (Genesis 3:12-13)
It was a triple blame game. The man blames the woman and then he insinuates it is God’s fault for putting her there with him. She points the finger at Satan.
And finally, they got snagged with the hook of consequence—a whole bunch of consequences, actually:
“…with painful labor you will give birth to children… through painful toil… By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food… for dust you are and to dust you will return.” (Genesis3:16-19)
In the end, they were cast out of Eden because of their guilt. When Satan promises you something, it’s just a lure with a three-pronged hook in it—the lure of sin with hooks of shame and blame and consequences. With what specific temptations are you being baited right now? Do you see the three hidden hooks of sin waiting?
Father of Life, lead me not into temptation and deliver me from evil. Give me insight from Your Word to see the lies. Give me wisdom and willingness to refuse the bait. Spare me from the shame, blame, and consequences of the sin that so easily entangles me. Amen.
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