Thursday, September 18, 2014

Warning! Danger Ahead

Years ago, I was invited by some friends to visit a desert in Arizona. I was fascinated by the many varieties of the cactus plants. They came in almost every size and shape. Some had beautiful flowers, some contained water, some even had fruit – the “cactus pear” – but all of them had “needles.”
One of my friends warned me and said, “Please do not touch them or you will have painful needles piercing your hands.” But, like Adam, I decided to “taste” the fruit of a cactus pear, and immediately I understood what my friend’s warning about “painful needles” meant. Though difficult to see, the sting of the needles was extreme and seemed to affect every part of my body. I was left with the sting and never enjoyed the fruit.

Solomon offered “the young” a warning: “My son, if sinners entice you, do not give in to them.” Perhaps he was speaking from personal experience.

Or, maybe he saw others “enticed” by sin, fall into its attractiveness and the damage it did to them. But the importance of his “words of warning” is true: sin gives more than pleasure and popularity. “Young” in this verse applies to any age or sex.

Sin is “enticing” because it offers a fast lane to short-lived pleasure. Those who entice us to sin never say, “Oh, by the way, I want you to know that if you gain things illegally, the gain you get, sooner or later, will one day cost you your life. So, be sure to remember this, my friend, the only ‘gains’ worth getting come from God.”

Falling into temptation is easy. Escaping it is not.

Prayer: Father, these words of wisdom provide a shield of armor that will protect us all the days of our lives. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture for Today: Proverbs 1:9 They are a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck.

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