Friday, February 08, 2013

The Slippery Slope

The Slippery Slope

But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness godliness faith, love endurance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.  I Tim. 6:11, 12. NIV.

Have you ever watched an insect scurrying around on a pitcher plant?  Hundreds of species of pitcher plants belong to a half dozen different families all over the world. All of them have some part of the plant formed into a rain catcher to make a pool of water in which they can trap and drown insects for food. The plants attract insects to the water with lures of nectar and bright markings pointing the way. In its explorations for some tasty morsel, the insect encounters stiff hairs that point downward toward the good stuff.  The slope gets steeper, so the insect naturally turns around to go up to higher ground to get a better look at the situation, but it’s too late. Loose waxy scales that make for a very slippery footing cover the slope. Trying to scramble uphill on the loose scree simply doesn't work.  Imagine yourself trying to climb up a very steep slope with nothing solid to stand on. All you have underfoot are loose waxy plates. And thousands of sharp spears all pointed down slope block your way. No wonder the insect suddenly loses its footing and falls into the trap. Before it even stops struggling, other denizens of the dark watery pit start chewing on and burrowing into the insect's body. Plant enzymes begin digesting the plant s victim.  Bacteria break down high-energy insect chemicals for use by the plant.  For an insect the only hope is to flee at once. Exploration is certain doom. The trap of the pitcher plant is that good.  (From God of Wonders by David A. Steen)

Eve went down a slippery slope.  From what we read in Genesis 3 we see that subtly and gradually the devil lured her into coming into coming closer and closer, making the nectar of Sin very attractive, appetizing, and promising great rewards if partaken.  Little did she know that by the time it was over she would be the one figuratively eaten up.  He appealed to her human needs.  As with the insects exploration was certain doom.  The devil’s trap was that good. 

We read in Matthew 4 that the devil tried to do the same with Jesus.  The devil appealed to Jesus human needs.  But, Jesus refused to go down.  Immediately, Christ quoted from scripture.  No need to explore that scene.  Christ figuratively flew away at once.  When food did not work as it did with Eve, then the devil tried to appeal to other human needs.  But, Christ again quoted scripture.  He kept Himself figuratively flying from the trap. 

The Devil sets trap for us just as He did for Eve and Jesus.    Ellen White comments on this,

Satan is watching his chance. He will come to men in human form, and will speak to them most entrancing words. He will bring against them the same temptations that he brought against Christ. Unless their minds and hearts are filled with the pure, unselfish, sanctified love that Christ revealed, they will fall under Satan's power, and will do and say and write strange things, to deceive, if it were possible, the very elect. . . .  {UL 295.7}  … . But none who wish to know the truth need be deceived. God has promised to give to his people the Spirit of truth, to guide them into all truth.  {RH, November 5, 1889 par. 9} 

In and of ourselves we have no power to overcome the trap.  But, through the power of the Holy Spirit dwelling in us we shall have the victory.