Sin is a snare

"Moreover, no man knows when his hour will come: As fish are caught in a cruel net, or birds are taken in a snare, so men are trapped by evil times that fall unexpectedly upon them." (Ecclesiastes 9:12)

The bible speaks of snares a lot. Sins, people, doctrines all can trap a person and there they stay in the snare of sin, and then they die. I heard a sermon recently and the pastor was speaking of unaddressed sin in a person's life. Whether you're a believer or a non-believer, we all sin and we all need to repent. Of the believer, if you have sinned but not repented, the pastor preaching the sermon said that on the day you die or the day you are called home to the Lord in the rapture, you will be flash-frozen in your sin. THAT will be the status upon which you stand before Him at the Bema seat, giving an account of yourself. There will be no more chances. When Jesus calls an end to your days or an end to the Church Age, there you go with all your unrepented sins with you.

Now, that should give you pause to let your sins go unaddressed, lol!

There are frequent mentions in the bible about snares. Sins are snares that trap us. (1 Timothy 3:7). Enemies are snares that trap us. (Judges 2:3). False doctrines are snares that trap us. (Proverbs 13:14). False gods are sins that trap us. (Exodus 23:33; Deuteronomy 7:16). Idols are a snare. (Psalm 106:36).

Since many of us are no longer living in an agricultural environment, trapping food for our sustenance or even hunting it for pleasure, let's talk about what a snare is, how it works, and what happens when you're caught in it.

We all know a snare is a trap. It traps birds and smaller mammals. But let's go deeper into understanding the metaphor of sin being a snare.

Snares are anchored cable or wire nooses set to catch wild animals such as squirrels and rabbits. A snare is essentially a loop that is set up to tighten around an animal as it passes through. Snares are one of the simplest traps and are very effective. They are cheap to produce and easy to set in large numbers. A snare traps an animal around the neck or the body; a snare consists of a noose made usually by wire or a strong string. The snare can be laid down on the ground and camouflaged, or upright like the Wiki Books illustration at left.

Did you catch that? Snares are simple, easy to make, lots of them can be made at once, and they are effective. That is how sin works. Sometimes we think of the devil as an unholy being with super-complicated methods. And he does indeed, and we are not unaware of his schemes (2 Corinthians 2:11), but really, why waste energy on complicated stuff when a simple sin-snare is so easy to set up?

A person will become captured in a snare and right away things get a lot worse. The animal fights for its life and even more damage can be done to him as he struggles. David was "only" an adulterer, until he was about to get caught, Then he became a murderer too. One sin piles on top of another. Lance Armstrong was "only" a doper, until he was about to be exposed. Then he became a liar, a brutal revenger, an intimidator and an enemy to his friends. His sin-snare tightened its noose-like grip the more he struggled against exposing the first sin the more sins got piled on top.

Do you see the snare at right? It is almost invisible, and an inattentive rabbit wanting just to take a mouthful of the juicy and tempting moss will get caught! It's like when we say, "one visit won't harm drink will be OK...if I take just $5 from the till no one will notice..."
Rolling snare, Alderleaf Wilderness College

There was a chapter in the book Watership Down by Richard Adams called "The Shining Wire". It was a fiction book about rabbits looking for a new place to set up a warren, due to imminent development of their pasture. A brave band of rabbits set out to find a place and they came to a warren where all the rabbits were fat and sleek and had plenty to eat. However as they stayed a while, visiting, they noticed that the rabbits exhibited strange behavior. They focused on making art and poetry instead of hunting and procreating, never mourned the sudden disappearance of friends, and refused to listen to stories about Rabbit God.

It turned out that the rabbits had capitulated, allowing themselves to feed on the food that the farmer put out, knowing full well that he also set out snares and took some from their number frequently.

The knowledge of their deadly compromise enslaved them, and after a while, made them crazy. They were fed, but at a terrible price. No rabbit in that warren could ever speak of the shining wire.

The rabbits became dependent on the overlord that will eventually kill them, but they still preferred to live and die by the snares than to be free. Although they had the illusion of freedom, they all knew deep down that the snares are ever- present, and they doom themselves the moment they make the decision to live off of food the farmer gives them. (source)

It is like that for the unsaved. They all know that they are feeding on food (sin) that is handed to them by someone who wants their death, but they focus on other things, refuse to speak of what their sin is doing to them bodily and spiritually, and hope that that day is not their day to become trapped and die. And they are all a little crazy. As Dan Phillips wrote at Pyromaniacs, "Sin makes you irrational, insane, crazy, nuts (cf. Genesis 3—Revelation 22; especially, for instance, Genesis 3:8; Numbers 13-14; Matthew 12:24; Ephesians 4:17-19)."

The Lord Jesus Christ freed us from our original sin, and continues to free us from the snare of our daily sin. When we repent, He opens the snare and we hop free! Soooo, repent! And don't delay. You don't want to carry them to heaven and lay them down at the throne and explain them all to Jesus, do you?

Blessed be the Lord,
who has not given us
as prey to their teeth!
We have escaped like a bird
from the snare of the fowlers;
the snare is broken,
and we have escaped!
Our help is in the name of the Lord,
who made heaven and earth. (Psalm 124:6-8)