Paul introduced the possibility of falling into a satanic setup in his letters to Timothy. He understood the dangers of a satanic trap or snare: “Lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil” (1 Timothy 3:7). But he also gave a recovery from that satanic trap: “That they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will” (2 Timothy 2:26).
The Greek word for “snare” used in both of these Scriptures means a
setup, the preparation of a noose for the neck. It refers to a
well-conceived trap. “The proud have hid a snare for me . . . they have
set [traps] for me” (Psalm 140:5). It is clear that Satan is building a gallows.
Years ago The New York Times had a front-page picture of a
fallen evangelist in handcuffs. He was weeping! Incoherent! Chained!
Satan had set a trap, a well-conceived, well-planned snare for this
I don’t care who you are, how holy and pure you are, how long you’ve
walked with God, or how old or young you are. I don’t care how much you
insist you couldn’t do anything like that—beware! The devil is out to
trap you, too. “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and
to destroy” (John 10:10).
Do you know that all of us have the capacity to fall just as low,
just as far into horrible sin with all its deception, cover-ups, lies
and uncontrollable lusts?
When I saw the fallen evangelist’s picture I did not ask, “How could
he do such foolish things with his eyes wide open?” Instead, I wept,
saying inwardly, “Lord, that could have been me! We all have sinned and
fallen short of the glory of God.”
Looking back I can see where the devil laid numerous well-planned and
intricate traps for me because he wanted to destroy me. I can say with
David, “Our soul is escaped as a bird out of the snare of the fowlers:
the snare is broken, and we are escaped” (Psalm 124:7).