Snares

"Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil." (1 Timothy 3:7)

A snare is a trap normally used to catch an unwary wild animal, but each of the five times the word (Greek pagis) is used in the New Testament, it refers to devices used by the great deceiver, Satan, to trap unwary human beings.

There is, first of all, the snare of worldly involvement. "And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth" (Luke 21:34-35).

There is the snare of rejecting God's word, both the written word and the living word. When Israel repudiated Christ, God said: "Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumblingblock, and a recompence unto them" (Romans 11:9, quoting Psalm 69:22). The desire for riches can be a snare. "They that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition" (1 Timothy 6:9).

Satan has many other "devices" (2 Corinthians 2:11) by which he seeks "an advantage of us." Not even "bishops" or other full-time Christian ministers are immune, for our text is a warning to prospective bishops against "the snare of the devil." It is the responsibility of every true "servant of the Lord" to be "gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves . . . that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will" (2 Timothy 2:24-26). We must both avoid Satan's snares ourselves, and seek to deliver those who have been thus ensnared. HMM

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