A banging noise woke me up out of a sound sleep around three o’clock this morning. I got up to investigate. The rat trap my husband had set in the kitchen had snared a large rat, and the still alive rat was flopping it across the kitchen doorway, unsuccessfully trying to free itself from the snare. A quick call to my husband took care of this problem, but I didn’t find it quite as easy to go back to sleep.
Sin is much like the trap that held this rat. As I’ve done an in-depth study of Hebrews 12: 1-2 this week, God has been expanding my understanding of these foundational verses. This morning, I read these verses in a variety of versions and noticed that a diverse list of phrases were used in Hebrews 12:1 to describe the effects of sin.
- Entangle us (NASB & NIV)
- Cling closely to us (ESV)
- Make us fall (Easy-to-Read version)
- Distract us (God’s Word version)
- Dog our feet (J.B. Phillips)
- Easily beset us (KJV)
- Wrap itself tightly around a our feet and trap us up (Living Bible)
- Easily hold us back (New Century version)
- Keep us from doing what we should (New Life Version)
But as I continued studying this verse, the description that really stood out to me was from the NKJV and HCSB: SIN ENSNARES US! Sin is much like the rat trap, a common type of snare trap, that woke me up much too early this morning. And in our own strength, we are no more able to free ourselves from the trap of sin than the rat was able to free itself this morning.
But praise God, Jesus made a way for us to be set free from the snare of sin. He did this by enduring the cross and becoming the author and perfecter of our faith. As you prepare your heart for God’s good purposes for you in 2017, give thanks to Jesus for this incompatible gift of salvation. And determine to stand on this truth from Romans 6:6, that in Christ we are no longer enslaved to sin.