Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Web of Deceit

Your reaction to this picture will depend on how you feel about spiders.  While, I am not the least bit fond of the creatures, I have to admit there is a certain (creepy) beauty to this black and yellow argiope aurantia -- yes, that is the true name of this female Writing Spider -- as she is more commonly known. 

This particular lady was sitting motionless in the center of her web in my flower bed.  I chose not to disturb her because she is fulfilling her purpose of catching other insects, like mosquitoes and flies.  And how does she catch those insects which turn out to be her next meal? 

One thing this spider does is construct a thicker, white curly dangle of silk that is thought to attract insects to her nearly invisible silken web.  Once the victims blunder into the web, they're caught up in the sticky stuff clinging to it and they're stuck.

If you think about the construction and purpose of a spider web, you can see that it is a nearly invisible, sticky net intended to capture and ultimately destroy the unwary victim.  It's meant to trick the victim and to lure the victim in until it can't escape.

I'm sure you're already seeing spiritual messages in this scenario.  Webs have always been a picture of Satan's trickery in the world -- of his nearly invisible, sticky net of worldly pleasures that he uses to lure his victims until they can't or won't try to escape. 

In Isaiah 59, God is speaking to the wicked whose "hands are stained with blood, your fingers with guilt.  Your lips have spoken lies..."  He says of these people, "They hatch the eggs of vipers and spin a spider's web."  He goes on to describe a people who "are swift to shed innocent blood, their thoughts are evil thoughts; ruin and destruction mark their ways."

The Bible has much to say about deceit, which is defined as "the act or practice of deceiving; misleading" -- words that could also be used to describe the web spun by a spider.  But, in these cases, the web is spun by Satan and his designs are far more deceptive and deadly than any spider. 

Satan's web lures his victims into his silken net with promises of riches, fame, power, and even love.  The sticky substances of lust and self within his net captures his victims in their sin and before they know it, they're stuck.  Even our own hearts deceive us:  "The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure.  Who can understand it?"  Jeremiah 17:9.

We need to call out to God to protect us from being lured into these nearly invisible webs.  As we grow in the Lord, I believe Satan's webs will become more visible to our spiritual eyes and we'll, by the power of the Spirit, be more able to avoid them.  We need to pray as did the Psalmist:  "Deliver me, O Lord, from lying lips and a deceitful tongue" 120:2.

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