“Prayer a response to snares”
Psalms 38:15, “For in thee, O LORD, do I hope: thou wilt hear, O Lord my God. For I said, hear me, lest otherwise they should rejoice over me: when my foot slippeth, they magnify themselves against me.”
In the previous verses of Psalms
chapter 38 the Bible warns of the snares that wicked men set for Christians. It
says in verse 12, “They also
that seek after my life lay snares for me: and they that seek my hurt speak
mischievous things, and imagine deceits all the day long.” A snare is a
trap like a pit covered so that you do not see it is there. This verse
describes for us what
Persecution, slander, snares, and the plotting of the wicked is a description of what was going on in society in King David’s time and what is going on in society today. The answer to this situation is given in verses 15-16: prayer. Regarding prayer Jesus said in Matthew 7:7-8, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” Jeremiah 33:3 says, “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.” Prayer is powerful because God is Almighty. A Christian’s prayer is powerful because A Christian is a person who is no longer separated from Christ because of their sins. Because of repentance of sin to Christ the Christian is like the high priest in the holiest of holies in the temple. The book of Psalms teaches us that Jesus, pleads, strives, and fights for us. Jesus battled the devil and won by dying on the cross for the sins of the world and rising again the 3rd day. Jesus taught his disciples to pray in Matthew 6:13, “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.”
When the snares of the wicked surround you and they do if you are a Christian what you need to pray is that Jesus will lead you away temptation, deliver you from evil, and give you the faith in His promises to endure each day.
Notice that verse 16 says, “For I said, Hear me, lest otherwise they should rejoice over me: when my foot slippeth, they magnify themselves against me.” Verse 16 teaches us something very important about why those that oppose the Bible lay snares. Notice the words rejoice and magnify. Those that plot and scheme, slander, persecute, and lay snares against the Christian do so because they think that in doing so they will gain a victory against the one true living God and His Word. Those who do not have faith in the Bible and in Jesus Christ the only begotten Son of God will be calculating, manipulative and deceitful. This kind of wisdom of the world is not of God and in the end it can never be victorious against faith in the promises of God nor can it stop the gospel of Christ from touching sinful men.
Now notice what the last part of verse 16 says when it says, “when my foot slippeth, they magnify themselves against me.” The word slippeth means to be shaken. It can refer to making a mistake or sinning but the main idea has to do with the faith of a Christian in the promises of God. This is why in the Bible faith in Ephesians chapter 6 is described as the shield of faith. Your most important possession in this world is your faith in Jesus Christ and in the promises of the Bible if you are a Christian. Everyone is a sinner. Christians are still sinners. They sinners saved by grace. Christians still make mistakes. There is always some way in which your faith needs to grow in the promises of God.
If the storms of life or your own failures weaken your faith, if your faith fails or if you sin in some way that is when those that lay snares for you will magnify themselves against you the most. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. Notice how the Word shaken is used in Psalms 46:2 which says, “Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea.” Here the word shaken is translated carried.
Though the mountains be carried into the sea we will not fear. All it takes is faith as a grain mustard seed to have the righteousness of God through Christ who died on the cross for the sins of the World. Jesus himself said in Luke 17:6, “And the Lord said, If e had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.” Jesus also said in Mark 11:23, “For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.” And Psalms 36:6 says, “Thy righteousness is like the great mountains.” Man cannot move a mountain with his own strength. It is impossible. It is much more impossible to obtain the righteousness of God through your own efforts it cannot be done. But with God all things are possible. Through Christ, through the work of Christ on the cross there is righteousness. And this is the reason a Christian always tries his best to do what is right, because his sins are forgiven.
Psalms 46:2 which says, “Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea.” Those that lay snares against the Christian may rejoice, thinking they have won but they have. If you turned from your sins to Christ for forgiveness then you have the victory already.
Romans 8:1 says, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” This is why prayer is important in times of persecution when the snares of the wicked surround you. Jesus will not condemn you because he died for your sins. But the world will find every way it can to condemn you because they hate the righteousness of Christ. This is also a reason Christians should be careful about condemning their brethren. In Psalms chapter 38 we told how king David’s friends forsook him because of sin. Christians are going to fail. But be careful how you treat Christians when they make mistakes. Do not treat them the world treats them because if you do you will be used by the devil to lay a snare for your fellow brethren.
2 Thessalonians 3:15 says, “And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.” Be careful how you treat other Christians that fall into sin. To admonish means to warn and to caution gently. Do not treat Christians that fall into sin like the Catholic Church treated those that opposed them in the sense of, ‘excommunication.’ Rather pray for them, find ways to encourage them, to remind of the promises of God, and encourage them to get right with the LORD. If you excommunicate them then they will be left to the wolves and will be devoured. This is one of the snares of wicked that is used against the Christians a great deal in our society today. Love the brethren. When your brother fails admonish him as a brother do not excommunicate him regardless of the failure or the sin.
Psalms 38 warns of the snares of the wicked that are laid for Christians. One of the greatest snares is given in verse 16 which says, “For I said, Hear me, lest otherwise they should rejoice over me: when my foot slippeth, they magnify themselves against me.” When my foot slippeth, they magnify themselves against me. Christians are sinners they will sin from time to time. Regardless of the sins your brethren make you should admonish them and build them up in the faith do not give them over to the snares of the wicked.
Another excellent example of a snare is divorce. Yes divorce is horrible but it does happen. In our society it happens a lot. Regardless of the circumstances of why a person gets divorced divorce is not a reason for a person to be limited in their service to Christ. Sometimes people have no choice but to get divorced just to remain free from prison in our society. Remember that Romans 11:29 says, “For the gifts and the calling of God are without repentance.” Romans 8:1 says, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” How many preachers called of God have stopped preaching because of divorce and because other Christians did not forgive them of their failures? The snares of the wicked are doing damage because Christians do not know the word of God. We need the preachers to preach and to teach so that the Christians can be fed the Word of God.
What do you do when the snares of the world surround you? You pray and you rely upon the promises of God. There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit.
Copyright; 2012 by Charles
F. (Rick) Creech
All Rights Reserved