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Oh, What a Tangled Web We Weave
by Alan Allegra
8/23/2017 / Christian Living
We like to have visitors. Sometimes, the best visitors are unexpected. In all cases, the best visitors are those who stay overnight but need no accommodations, carry no baggage, require no food, and don’t carry on long conversations. They take up no space and leave behind no laundry or trash. They even help around the house.
We have one of those ideal visitors in our house now. Well, not exactly in our house; more like under the eaves by the deck. This little visitor is an orb spider. We don’t know his (or her?) official name — it’s one of those Latin combinations that looks like English with a few extra vowels thrown in as a show of erudition.
We have watched our little arachnid at night, all eight legs pumping, weaving a web that is marvelous in its beauty and simplicity. One wonders how they can do that with tiny brains; however, some spiders’ brains take up about 80% of their body, even extending into their legs! The protein material they use to manufacture (or, more appropriately, spiderfacture) their web material not only has more tensile strength than steel, it is ecologically sound because its byproduct is water.
Speaking of water, the spider’s legs operate hydraulically because there is not enough room for all the muscles needed to work “normal” legs. You can tell we are fascinated by our little construction worker.
While we marvel at the engineering expertise of our new friend, we marvel more at the expertise of the One who engineered the spider with its ability to baffle scientists with its abilities. “And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its kind” (Genesis 1:25).
The spider weaves a stunning orb-shaped web at night, catches his prey, then eats the web by sunrise. Next night, those brainy legs are actively positioning the silk to make an identical trap. The way this guest helps around the house is by decreasing the surplus mosquito population. All-in-all, this web stuff is rather amazing.
Yes, spiders are mentioned in the Bible. Neither mention is particularly flattering. “His confidence is severed, and his trust is a spider's web” (Job 8:14). “They hatch adders' eggs; they weave the spider's web; he who eats their eggs dies, and from one that is crushed a viper is hatched” (Isaiah 59:5). In speaking of evil persons, Bildad says trusting in anything other than God is fragile as a spider’s web. Isaiah reminds us that evil people set traps for the innocent, just like the spider’s web that is barely noticeable until the insect becomes entrapped.
Sin is much like that spider web. Man can spin a web of deceit that appears so beautiful and cleverly engineered yet can become so tangled. My wife and I enjoy crime mystery shows. In every crime, no matter how complicated and well-conceived, the perp always slips up in some way and gets caught. Trusting in his or her wits is fragile as a spider’s web.
Trusting in an evil person is just as dangerous as the web is to the unsuspecting fly. Being caught leads to tragedy. Practicing deceit is just as dangerous to the perp as it is to the victim: “Whoever digs a pit will fall into it, and a stone will come back on him who starts it rolling” (Proverbs 26:27).
And, just as that web disappears each morning and returns each night, sin can come back to haunt a person.
If the fly knew where the web was, it would steer clear. The same should be said of us when confronting the path of sin: “Avoid it; do not go on it; turn away from it and pass on” (Proverbs 4:15).
Don’t weave a web of sin; you’ll only get tangled up in it!
Alan is Content Coordinator for Lifestyles Over 50 (Thrive Media) and contributor to the Allentown, PA, Morning Call. He is also an adult Sunday school teacher and Bible study leader. Passionate about reviving theology and church methodology, and being a senior citizen!
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