Summary: POWER OF DELIVERANCE
1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
"His own iniquities shall take the wicked himself, and he shall be holden with the cords of his sins."—Proverbs 5:22.
THE first sentence has reference to a net, in which birds or beasts are taken. The ungodly man first of all finds sin to be a bait, and, charmed by its apparent pleasantness he indulges in it, and then he becomes entangled in its meshes so that he cannot escape.
That which first attracted the sinner, afterwards detains him.
Evil habits are soon formed, the soul readily becomes accustomed to evil, and then, even if the man should have lingering thoughts of better things, and form frail resolutions to amend, his iniquities hold him captive like a bird in the fowler’s snare.
You have seen the foolish fly descend into the sweet which is spread to destroy him, he sips, and sips again, and by-and-by he plunges boldly in to feast himself greedily: when satisfied, he attempts to fly, but the sweet holds him by the feet and clogs his wings; he is a victim, and the more he struggles the more surely is he held.
Even so is it with the sins of ungodly men, they are at first a tempting bait, and afterwards a snare.
Having sinned, they become so bewitched with sin, that the scriptural statement is no exaggeration: "Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil."
The first sentence of the text also may have reference to an arrest by an officer of law.
The transgressor’s own sins shall take him, shall seize him; they bear a warrant for arresting him, they shall judge him, they shall even execute him.
Sin, which at the first bringeth to man a specious pleasure, ere long turneth into bitterness, remorse, and fear.
Sin is a dragon, with eyes like stars, but it carrieth a deadly sting in its tail.
The cup of sin, with rainbow bubbles on its brim, is black with deep damnation in its dregs.
O that men would consider this, and turn from their delusions.
Leave a man to his own sins, and hell itself surrounds him; only suffer a sinner to do what he wills, and to give his lusts unbridled headway, and you have secured him boundless misery; only allow the seething caldron of his corruptions to boil at its own pleasure, and the man must inevitably become a vessel filled with sorrow.
Be assured that sin is the root of bitterness. Gild the pill as you may, iniquity is death.
Sweet is an unholy morsel in the mouth, but it will be wormwood in the bowels.
Let but man heartily believe this, and surely he will not so readily be led astray. "Surely in vain is the net spread in the sight of any bird," and shall man be more foolish than the fowls of the air? will he wilfully pursue his own destruction? will he wrong his own soul?
Sin, then, becomes first a net to hold the sinner by the force of custom and habit, and afterwards, a sheriffs officer to arrest him, and to scourge him with its inevitable results.
The second sentence of our text speaks of the sinner being holden with cords, and a parable may be readily fashioned out of the expression.
The lifelong occupation of the ungodly man is to twist ropes of sin. All his sins are as so much twine and cord out of which ropes may be made.
His thoughts and his imaginations are so much raw material, and while he thinks of evil, while he contrives transgression, while he lusts after filthiness, while he follows after evil devices, while with head, and hand, and heart he pursues eagerly after mischief, he is still twisting evermore the cords of sin which are afterwards to bind him.
The binding meant is that of a culprit pinioned for execution.
Iniquity pinions a man, disables him from delivering himself from its power, enchains his soul, and inflicts a bondage on the spirit far worse than chaining of the body.
Sin cripples all desires after holiness, damps every aspiration after goodness, and thus, fettering the man hand and foot, delivers him over to the executioner, which executioner shall be the wrath of God, but also sin itself, in the natural consequences which in every case must flow from it.
Samson could burst asunder green withes and new ropes, but when at last his darling sin had bound him to his Delilah, that bond he could not snap, though it cost him his eyes.
Make a man’s will a prisoner, and he is a captive indeed.