Summary: A warning against the subtility of temptation. I took my inspiration from the beginning of deer season and worked it into a sermon.
Beware of the Snare
Psalms 91:1-3 – “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” “I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.” “ Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.” KJV
Psalms 91:3 – “For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper, And from the deadly pestilence.” New American Standard
Psalms 91:3 – “For he rescues you from every trap and protects you from the fatal plague.” Living Bible
l. INTRODUCTION – MY FISHING EXPERIENCE
It had to be more than ten years ago, when I was invited along on a fishing expedition, if it could be called such. Bro. TM and Mr. WC invited me in the middle of winter, I think sometime in January to do a little “night fishing” as they called it.
I arrived at Madrid armed with a large cannister of hot chocolate about nine or ten o’clock on night and we climbed into Mr. C’s pick-up and headed out. We rode down several little farm roads and after about twenty minutes or so, I was lost as a hoot owl. Finally, we turned off on a dirt road and followed this for what seemed to be four or five miles and then turned into a tractor trail and begin to creep along the bumps in the ruts. We went for a mile or so and Mr. C then leaned over and turned off his lights and then we went on for another mile or so. I asked him why he had turned his lights off and he just grunted something about not being seen. I should have known then that I was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
We went on and finally he stopped. It was pitch black. I asked what we were stopping for and they told me that we needed to get into the lake. Bro. M got out and with the assistance of a flashlight opened up a large gate and the truck creeped through it and then he locked the gate and got back in again. It was freezing cold outside. The temperature was in the single digits and the wind was blowing hard enough to “bust the bark” as they say.
We pulled up a little while later to a body of water, I have no idea where it is even now, nor how big or small that it really is. Bro. M and I off loaded a john boat from the back of the truck and got the paddles out and slowly walked down to the water, being as quiet as possible. Mr. C was rigging up a miner’s lamp on his head while we were doing this. We also got two long three-pronged gigs and loaded them into the boat.
We backed the boat out into the water and started “fishing” as I had never been accustomed to. There were no rods, reels, hooks, worms, just lights and gigs. The object was to shine a light on the fish in the water and then gig them. I asked them how that we were going to gig them before they moved and Mr. C said something about them being too cold to move. I thought to myself, well, the fishing won’t be worth much tonight because I am too cold to move too!
Another thought lurked in the deep recesses of mind: what if we get out here in this boat and the game warden comes around or worse yet whoever owns this land comes out here and gets fishing and hunting mixed up. What if he decides to hunt us while we are fishing? This could indeed lead to a bad outcome.
I could see fish all in the water but they looked dead because they weren’t moving. Suddenly Mr. C saw two of the biggest bass that I have ever seen in my life just sort of sitting there in the water. We back the boat up and he zings out the gig and nabs one of them. Suddenly everything goes from calm to chaos. We are in the chase. Suddenly we become desperate fisherman, along with Captain Ahab trying to take down a huge whale on the high seas. The bass wounded zips around the front of the boat and starts skimming the water toward the rear of the boat. Bro. Mullen leans out of the boat and whaps the fish in the head but in the process of doing so the boat tips wildly and we almost turn over.
Bro. M does the right thing to keep the boat upright. He goes into the water and Mr. C and myself remain in the boat. I yell loudly, “Man overboard!” But then I realize that we are only in three feet of water and even though it might be man overboard, the water is not over his head. But what is chilling indeed is the temperature of the water and the temperature of the air. Amazingly, Bro. M turns from white to blue. Hands blue, face blue, and lips blue, he can hardly talk because of the chattering of his teeth.