Tuesday, July 14, 2009

daily text 07/14

Tuesday, July 14th, 2009
"[Jehovah] himself will deliver you from the trap of the birdcatcher."(Psalm 91:3)

All true Christians face a predator, one with superhuman intelligence and craftiness. He is referred to as “the birdcatcher” in today’s text. Who is this enemy? He has been identified as none other than Satan the Devil. This formidable foe cunningly endeavors to mislead and trap Jehovah’s people as a birdcatcher tries to trap a bird. A birdcatcher in Bible times devised cunning methods to trap birds. In likening Satan to a birdcatcher, the Bible helps us understand his methods. The Devil studies us as individuals. He notes our habits and characteristics and sets hidden traps in an attempt to catch us alive. (2 Timothy 2:26) Being caught by him would mean our spiritual ruin and could lead to our ultimate destruction. Hence, for our protection, we need to identify various schemes of “the birdcatcher.”
(Watchtower issue: 10/01/07, 3:1, 2)

*The following info is a more detailed description of the methods used:

Fear of man - people have a natural tendency to conform to peer pressure since humans have a desire for the acceptance and approval of those around them. However, the Devil can exploit this by causing us to become overly concerned about what others think or how they view us. This can lead to a person compromising their principles and "following after the crowd" so that they are not viewed as "different." Thus, some of God’s people are thrown off balance by the snare of “trembling at men.” (Proverbs 29:25) If because of fear of man, servants of God join others in doing what Jehovah forbids or refrain from doing what God’s Word commands them to do, they have been ensnared by “the birdcatcher.” (Ezekiel 33:8; James 4:17)

Materialism -Satan operates his wicked system in such a way that it induces people to desire things. That desire can eventually make inroads into a Christian’s life, choking the word and making it “unfruitful.” (Mark 4:19) The Bible encourages us to be content with sustenance and covering. (1 Timothy 6:8) However, many get ensnared by “the birdcatcher” because they do not apply that counsel to themselves. Pride or a desire to possess things can cause a Christian to feel they must adhere to a certain lifestyle which can push spiritual interests and worship into second place (Haggai 1:2-8) Sadly, during hard economic times, some have sacrificed their spirituality in order to maintain the standard of living to which they had grown accustomed.

Unwholesome Entertainment
Another tactic of “the birdcatcher” is to undermine people’s natural sense of what is good and what is bad. A mentality similar to that found in Sodom and Gomorrah has come to control much of the entertainment industry. Even news reports on television and in periodicals highlight violence and pander to a lurid interest in sex. Much of what appears as entertainment in the media blurs people’s ability “to distinguish both right and wrong.” (Hebrews 5:14) Recall, however, Jehovah’s words through the prophet Isaiah: “Woe to those who are saying that good is bad and bad is good!” (Isaiah 5:20) Self-examination is essential. (2 Corinthians 13:5)

Personal Differences
Satan uses personal differences as a trap to cause divisions among people. We can be trapped this way regardless of our privileges of service. Some allow personal differences to disrupt the peace and unity within the congregation or the family. When we allow personal differences to cause disunity, we have provided “the birdcatcher” a foothold. While there may be many reasons why problems develop, there is no reason why personal differences should be left unresolved. (Matthew 5:23, 24; 18:15-17)