Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Scriptural Armory: Bait In The Water

"By transgression an evil man is ensnared, but the righteous sings and rejoices."
- Proverbs 29:6, NASB

Photo from official River Monsters Page
If you follow me on twitter, you may know that I am a HUGE River Monsters fan.  I first stumbled upon River Monsters during a marathon one night on Animal Planet.  I went to bed really late.  For those of you who have never had the pleasure of beholding the glory of this show, host Jeremy Wade, travels the world following ridiculous stories of man-eating, fresh-water fish.  In most cases, he finds them.  Before I watched Wade's heroics, I hated fishing, but now I am a man inspired.

One of the most interesting things I've seen on the show is a fishing technique used in the "Flesh Ripper" episode.  Wade is in southern New Zealand trying to catch the New Zealand Longfin Eel, but using a hook to fish for these animals is strictly forbidden.  A local fisherman shows him how to catch his target despite the trying circumstances.  All he has to do is wrap some bait with a bunch of simple yarn - no hook needed.

See, the eel will grab on and get it's bristly teeth ensnared in the yarn.  He could let go, but as he is reeled in, he just bites down harder afraid his prey (the bait) will escape.  In the show, the eel lets go as soon as it's on shore, but it's obviously too late.  Now in the show, Wade is a biologist merely wanting to study these creatures, but most of the time this would spell death for the eels.

Men, we can be so similar at times to that eel.  If you believe as I do, you know that we are all evil at the root of it.  We are only made righteous by our wondrous King.  And though we are saved, we vacillate between our original nature and redeemed nature.  At times, we get in bad habits.  We develop tastes for the bait Satan uses to catch us and haul us up onto shore.  The writer of Proverbs 29 is dead on when he says that by his own sin the evil man is ensnared.  In contrast, the righteous is free to sing and rejoice.  While it may be easy to write this off because we think of ourselves as the righteous man, I think both clauses can refer to the same guy.  That guy is you or me.

I'm listening to a great song right now by Aaron Shust.  It's called "Come To Me", based on Matthew 11:28-30.
28 Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light"(NLT).
As Jesus is a fisher of men, grab on to his bait of goodness and mercy - his burden that is seemingly immensely heavy but actually miraculously light.  Don't let go.  Let him pull you in.  Let him forgive you again.  Whatever bait Satan is using in your life today, I plead with you for the sake of your soul and the sake of your family to just let go.

There's another bait in the water, my friend.

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