Saturday, November 17, 2018

Snares and Pestilence

For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper and from the deadly pestilence. Psalm 91:3

We know that God rescues us out of danger, but these two metaphors are special, in that they represent dangers that overtake people before they are aware.

1. Think of Satan as the trapper laying out his snares of temptations for us.
2. Think of the infectious, corrupt ideas of the ungodly as pestilence that will lead us down the road to destruction.
3. Those who have faith in Christ are preserved from such.
4. Such snares and pestilences can cause danger to both body and soul.
5. God preserves us from both kinds.
6. God not only breaks the snare, He enables our escape.
7. Our help is in God's name.

Why God's name? Well, God's name is his identity. It separates the true God from all the false gods that are claimed to exist (even though they are no gods at all). In the Old Testament the identity of God was YHWH, which in Hebrew means, "I AM." In the New Testament, the identity of God is still I AM, but Jesus Christ identifies himself as the same. He claims to be I AM, but he is also Jesus, the name meaning "He Saves." God is one. Worship him and him alone, but the conduit through which he has chosen to save us is his son, Jesus Christ, God in the flesh. To worship him is to worship the true identity--the name--of God, who rescues us from the snare and pestilence.  Read Christ's own words in John 8:31-59 as he discusses true freedom with people who don't know Christ, because they remain captives to the snares of the devil and are infected with the pestilence of false doctrine:

1. If we continue in God's Word, then we will be true disciples.
2. The truth found in the scriptures about Jesus will set us free from spiritual snares and pestilence.
3. Jesus is not talking about physical slavery, although that can be a consequence of spiritual slavery.
4. Jesus is talking about us all being slaves to sin. We didn't choose to have sin in our lives or not. We are born with original sin, and from that foundation we commit actual sin.
5. Sin is the ultimate snare, because it cannot be avoided by man.
6. The slave to sin does not remain in the church forever.
7. The slave to Christ remains in the church forever.
8. Slavery to Christ is true freedom.
9. Where sins are snares set by the devil, Christ is the one who destroys the snares.
10. Where the pestilence of sin leads to death, Christ is the cure that leads to eternal life.
11. In God's Word we find the true identity of YHWH in Christ.
12. To reject the Word of God is to reject Christ and remain ensnared.
13. To reject the Word of God is to not know his true identity, the name of God, which sets us free.
14. To trust in another god will fail to free us. To trust in another christ will fail to free us.
15. Lies are the ultimate pestilence, because once a lie takes hold, it spreads like a wildfire, infecting so many who come in contact with each other.
16. Jesus' true identity is violently offensive to those who are slaves to sin.

What snares have captivated you? What false ideas about Christ have taken root in your heart like a disease? True freedom comes from knowing God and his son Jesus Christ. This knowledge can only be found in his Word. Take and read. The truth will set you free.