The Anchor of Hope
An e-publication of Living Hope Presbyterian Church
May 21, 2014
Psa 9:15-16 The nations have sunk down in the pit which they have made; In the net which they hid, their own foot has been caught. (16) The LORD has made Himself known; He has executed judgment. In the work of his own hands the wicked is snared.
Paul Smith, or “Possum Paul” as someone had nicknamed him, was a science teacher at my junior high school. In between his class and the next door science classroom was a shared storage room. Various critters in jars and chemicals used to conduct experiments during class were stored there. I say it was a shared room because the classrooms were linked by doors leading through the storage room into both classrooms.
One day the adjoining class was having an exam. Two or three times students would sneak out of that class, walk through Mr Smith’s room out into the hall, get a drink of water, and then walk back through Mr Smith’s class and back into their own class. Mr Smith had a laid back attitude, but these interruptions during his class time were too much, even for him. So he set to work connecting a small device (remember this was a science class) to the door leading into his class from the storage room that would send a mild electrical shock to the next person to touch the doorknob. With the trap laid, he and his students sat back watching the closed door anticipating the trap being sprung. It wasn’t long before the doorknob rattled and a scream was heard from the other side. Everyone was laughing at the success of the venture until the door was opened and there stood the school’s Principal. While the students still enjoyed the prank, even more so considering the victim was the Principal, Mr Smith was embarrassed and humbled by the severe rebuked that he received.
God’s enemies also set traps. They attack the Church and God’s people. Looking around us, it appears too often that Christians are ensnared and evil men gain the victory. We see pastor’s falling into sexual or financial sin. We see ungodly agendas winning in the courtroom. And then we look around us at the constant distraction that is our culture, drawing the Church’s attention away from its tasks of preaching the gospel and transforming the world for Christ’s kingdom. Over and over it seems the Church is willingly ensnared by the traps of the enemy. But while the story has been written, it has not been completely acted out.
In Psalm 9, David speaks of the unsuccessful rebellion and attacks of the wicked, and the salvation and protection of God’s people. Eventually, the wicked will be caught in their own traps. Like the story above, the trap may appear to be a sure thing and even initially successful, but in the end in God’s timing the wicked will still quite unexpectedly be caught. Judgment will fall upon the wicked by the use of their own devices.
The LORD also will be a stronghold for the oppressed, A stronghold in times of trouble, And those who know Thy name will put their trust in Thee; For Thou, O LORD, hast not forsaken those who seek Thee. (Psa 9:9-10)