WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
FEBRUARY 20, 2022
TOPIC: YOU WILL NOT FALL INTO YOUR ENEMIES’ TRAPS
BY T. O. BANSO
“The proud have hidden a snare for me, and cords; they have spread a net by the wayside; they have set traps for me” (Psalm 140:5 New King James Version).
Proverbs 1:17 says surely, in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird. In other words, when a bird sees a trap being set, it stays away. A bird will not see a trap being set and fall into it. Traps or snares are not set in the presence of the animals people wish to catch. The animals are caught in traps they’re not aware of. The same applies to traps or snares set for human beings.
The enemies set traps to catch others and, usually, they use bait to attract their targets. Unaware of the trap, they get caught or ensnared as soon as they make contact with the bait. “Does a bird ever get caught in a trap that has no bait?” (Amos 3:5a New Living Translation). Once someone gets caught in the enemies’ traps, one is at the mercy of the enemies. You will not fall into your enemies’ traps in Jesus’ name.
Because of a lack of spiritual insensitivity or discernment, many people have been caught in the traps of their enemies. The enemies use different types of traps. In the ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ, the enemies at different times tried to use the words of His mouth to trap Him. But Jesus always knew their motive. Therefore, He was not caught in their traps.
Matthew 19:3 says some Pharisees came and tried to trap or test him with this question: Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason? Mark 10:2 also records the same question. They couldn’t trap Jesus with the answer He gave them.
In Matthew 22:15-17, the Bible also records that the Pharisees plotted how they might entangle or trap Jesus with what He would say. They wanted to arrest Him. Their disciples and the Herodians, whom they sent, said to Jesus, “Teacher, we know that You are true, and teach the way of God in truth; nor do You care about anyone, for You do not regard the person of men. Tell us, therefore, what do You think? Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?” (New King James Version). Mark 12:13-15 and Luke 20:21-22 say the same thing.
They intended to trap Jesus with His words but they started by praising Him. Some people get easily trapped by the praise of men of flattery. The enemies use this as bait and such people would only see the bait but not the trap. Beware of the praise of men or flattery. Proverbs 29:5 says a man who flatters his neighbor spreads a net for his feet.
Jesus knew their motive for asking the question on payment of taxes. He knew they wanted a yes or no answer and they would have used either answer against Him among the Jews who didn’t want to pay taxes to the Romans and before the Roman government that demanded payment of taxes. But Jesus gave them an answer that rendered their trap useless.
Sometimes the right answer to a question is not a straight answer, depending on the motive of the person asking the question! Proverbs 26:4-5 says, “Do not answer a fool according to his folly, lest you also be like him. Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own eyes” (New King James Version).
In John 8, Jesus also did not give an answer they could use against Him when they brought to Him the woman that was caught in adultery. “Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, they said to Him, ‘Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?’ This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him” (John 8:3-6a New King James Version). Did you see that? Their intention was to trap Jesus.
Jesus didn’t say the woman should not be stoned to death as the Law of Moses said; otherwise, He would have been accused of being against Moses and condoning sin. And if He had condemned the woman to death, they would have accused Him before the Roman authorities because the Jews had no such power under the Roman government.
But Jesus said anyone without sin among them should throw a stone at her first. By that, Jesus was asking anyone who was not guilty of the same offence of adultery to obey Deuteronomy 17:7: “The hands of the witnesses shall be the first against him to put him to death, and afterward the hands of all the people. So you shall put away the evil from among you” (New King James Version). Since they were all guilty of sin, they left one after the other.
Jesus, who all along had stopped down, writing on the ground, raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman. He asked the woman of the whereabouts of her accusers and if no one condemned her. The woman said no one condemned her and Jesus said neither did he condemn her. She told her to go and sin no more. Those who thought they could use the woman’s case to trap Jesus went away convicted by their conscience.
Furthermore, Matthew 22:35-36 says, “Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, ‘Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?’” (New King James Version). The phrase “testing him” means he tried to trap Jesus, as the New Living Translation puts it. This lawyer couldn’t achieve anything against Jesus by the answer He gave.
Luke 11:53 says the scribes and the Pharisees began to assail Him vehemently, and to cross-examine Him about many things, lying in wait for Him, and seeking to catch Him in something He might say, that they might accuse Him. But they were unsuccessful.
Unlike Jesus, some people have fallen into the enemies’ snare or net by saying what they were not supposed to say. If they had known that the enemies wanted to catch them by their words, they would have been careful. They spoke unadvisedly.
To make matters worse their enemies did an audio or video recording of their words! Since they knew their goal, the enemies avoided saying on record what would indict them. Be careful. The enemies always hide their traps. David said, “The proud have hidden a snare for me, and cords; they have spread a net by the wayside; they have set traps for me” (Psalm 140:5 New King James Version). You would not fall into your enemies’ trap in Jesus’ name.
The enemies’ traps are not limited to catching people by their words. It could be anything, including making others behave in wrong ways, luring them to places they shouldn’t be, making them eat what is dangerous, or setting them up for harm.
Nehemiah was sensitive to the plans of his enemies to harm him when they invited him for a meeting. He turned down the invitation four times, saying he was doing great work. “Now it happened when Sanballat, Tobiah, Geshem the Arab, and the rest of our enemies heard that I had rebuilt the wall, and that there were no breaks left in it (though at that time I had not hung the doors in the gates), that Sanballat and Geshem sent to me, saying, ‘Come, let us meet together among the villages in the plain of Ono.’ But they thought to do me harm. So I sent messengers to them, saying, ‘I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down. Why should the work cease while I leave it and go down to you?’ But they sent me this message four times, and I answered them in the same manner” (Nehemiah 6:1-4 King James Version).
When his enemies saw that he didn’t fall into their traps, Sanballat invited him the fifth time, through his servant, with an open letter in his hand, alleging that Nehemiah and the Jews planned to rebel. He alleged that he was rebuilding the wall that he might be the king of the Jews and had appointed prophets to proclaim him as king at Jerusalem. Therefore, Sanballat threatened that the matter would be reported to the king and invited Nehemiah to come for a discussion.
But Nehemiah sent a reply to Sanballat that he invented the allegation and there was nothing like that. He didn’t honour the invitation. He said all they were trying to do was to make the Jews afraid so that their hands would be weakened and rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem would not be done (verses 5-9).
The enemies have used fear to catch some people in the traps they have set for them. If Nehemiah had been afraid, particularly because of the allegation of planning a rebellion, he would have gone to honour the invitation and they would have harmed him. Proverbs 29:25 says the fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD shall be safe. The New Living Translation renders the verse thus: “Fearing people is a dangerous trap, but to trust the LORD means safety.”
In Nehemiah 6:10-13, if Nehemiah had succumbed to the fear of death, he would, in a bid to run from an imaginary threat to his life created by his enemies, have agreed to hide in the temple. This would have been used to discredit him. Shemaiah the son of Delaiah had told Nehemiah, “Let us meet together in the house of God, within the temple, and let us close the doors of the temple, for they are coming to kill you; indeed, at night they will come to kill you” (verse 10b New King James Version).
What was Nehemiah’s reply? How did he analyze the situation? “And I said, ‘Should such a man as I flee? And who is there such as I who would go into the temple to save his life? I will not go in!’ Then I perceived that God had not sent him at all, but that he pronounced this prophecy against me because Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him. For this reason he was hired, that I should be afraid and act that way and sin, so that they might have cause for an evil report, that they might reproach me” (verses 11-13 New King James Version). Did you see the trap set for Nehemiah? Many people would have fallen into this trap of a hired prophet!
Some prophecies could be traps set by the enemies. The enemies could sponsor or give some people false prophecies or revelations to lead them astray or trap them. Just as the enemies knew Nehemiah loved God and would want to obey His Word, the enemies could do the same for some people. Your enemies will not succeed in using something good that you love to trap you. You will be sensitive to the Holy Spirit. The enemies have used even people’s lust to catch them.
Jeremiah 17:9 says the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? The traps are always set secretly. The Lord will save you from every enemy’s trap. David said, “They have prepared a net for my steps; My soul is bowed down; they have dug a pit before me; into the midst of it they themselves have fallen” (Psalm 57:6 New King James Version). Your enemies will fall into the traps or nets they set for you. The Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being caught in a trap (Proverbs 3:26).
Some people are already in the enemy’s trap. If you are, I pray that the Lord be merciful to you and rescue you (Psalm 91:3a). David prayed, “Pull me out of the net which they have secretly laid for me, for You are my strength. Into Your hand I commit my spirit; You have redeemed me, O LORD God of truth” (Psalm 31:4-5 New King James Version). The Lord will pull you out. David testified in Psalm 124:7, “Our soul has escaped as a bird from the snare of the fowlers; the snare is broken, and we have escaped” (New King James Version). You will escape from the snare of your enemies. The snare shall be broken and you shall escape in Jesus’ name.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner, and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner, and I cannot save myself. I believe Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: My family and I will not fall into the traps the enemies have secretly set for us. We receive the grace for discernment to recognize the enemies’ traps. Our enemies shall fall into the traps they have set for us. Father, by Your mercy, pull out everyone currently in the traps of their enemies. Let the snare be broken and let them be free.
(For over 800 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
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