Beware the fowler
With spring only a few weeks away, we can’t help but think of getting back to outdoor activities. Working in the garden, spring cleaning the yard, swinging the old golf clubs, playing catch with the children, kicking the soccer ball, running the bases, how we long for those warm sunny days! I have spent many cold winter nights planning and preparing for getting out on the water with my fly rod, chasing that hungry and elusive large mouth bass. I wish I had more time to fish being that it is a great American pastime. Some find it to be therapeutic, and can even be meditative. I love to praise the Lord while out on a calm stretch of water surrounded by majestic trees, graceful birds in flight, and the radiance of the sun shimmering on the water. “Let all creation praise His name” This lovely scene holds a great Biblical illustration. “I will make you fishers of men”, said Jesus to Peter, a seasoned veteran in the industry. While Jesus was referring to the greater calling of making disciples, the similarities between fishing and discipling are striking. We could easily think of words such as patience, persuasion, equipment, experience, timing and trust to describe both. Fishing in Jesus’ day was mostly done with nets, as evidenced by His disciples multiple times “dropping their nets”.
The discipleship/net illustration is illustrated in the “Kingdom of Heaven” activities by all disciples. (Matt13:47) It is no surprise then, that God warns us about the pursuits of satan. He always counterfeits God’s good work for his own nefarious doings. Jeremiah 5:26 “For wicked men are found among My people, They watch like fowlers lying in wait; They set a trap, They catch men, ’Like a cage full of birds, So their houses are full of deceit….They also excel in deeds of wickedness”. The devil works in and among men mimicking the work of God. He recruits followers not out of a message of love, forgiveness and blessings. His is one of lies, lust and luxuries. He does not truthfully persuade based upon reason and evidences. The devil does his best work with the "fowlers net", entrapping the unexpected into misery and suffering. These men are so duped, once a part of the Lords family, now they serve wickedness by “lying in wait”, as they have “set the trap” seeking to “catch men” against their will and reasonable mind. Sadly, they remain in the Lord’s church, devouring, disrupting and destroying. This entrapment becomes visible in the lack of compassion toward the lowly. “They do not plead the cause of the orphan (nor) defend the rights of the poor..” Wickedness and sinfulness are tactics of an enemy turning away those who might be searching for truth and longing for justice. God will punish these and avenge Himself.
As we engage in the battle for the souls of men, it is the kind “fisher of men” we lead them to. It is the loving shepherd of our souls who compassionately ministers to all who seek Him. It is the Lamb of God who willingly sacrificed His life for ours, the unrighteous, in order that we might be justified before the Lord. Covered in His atoning blood, we are then set free from the nets of death to fly free in the heights of the heavens.
2/9/2023 04:25:30 pm
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