Stephen spoke this morning on the deceitfulness of sin. The song ‘The Snake‘ (sung here by Al Wilson) reminds us that no matter what kindness shown to a half-frozen snake, it will always be true to its own nature; in the song, the snake eventually bites the woman who has rescued it and reminds her that this is, after all, what snakes do. To show mercy and kindness to the snake ultimately counted for nothing; the snake repaid the kindness with a poisonous bite.
In Genesis 3, we see that the devil appeared to Adam and Eve in the form of a serpent, ‘more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made.’ (Gen 3:1) Through the deception of the snake, Adam and Eve both disobeyed God’s command and ate from the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Sin may well have appeared in the form of delicious-looking fruit (Gen 3:6), but the consequences were death, banishment from the garden of Eden and eternal separation from God. The appeal of sin may be great, but we should not be deceived: the ways that seem so right to us, if not God’s ways, will lead to death.
We too can be like the tender-hearted woman in the song, befriending sin, holding it close to our hearts and believing that its appealing allure means we will come to no harm. We can dress it up, cover it up, hide it and rationalise what we are doing, but ultimately, sin will always come back to bite us. If we do not confess our sin and repent of it, sin will lead us away from the life God wants us to live.
It’s all too easy to become comfortable with sin and essentially to sleep spiritually because of it. We must not tolerate sin in any shape or form in our lives, but must run from it. (2 Tim 2:22) We must ask God’s Holy Spirit to reveal sin in our lives to us, for our hearts are deceitful and it’s all too easy to be lulled into thinking everything is fine when it is not. As we pray the words of Ps 139:23-24, asking God to search us and reveal any offensive ways to us, we can be confident that God will enlighten and highlight any areas which need our repentance. The, having confessed our sin and repented, we can be guided by God’s Spirit and can walk in the paths of light. (1 John 1:9)