We live on an acre lot with our house surrounded on the side and back by dense woods. We have various feeders out with a plethora of cardinals, woodpeckers, titmouse as well as other brightly colored birds swirling around the backyard as the squirrels and our canine daughters eat the birdseed that falls to the ground. These are our welcome visitors.
Then we have some unwelcome visitors as well. We have seen a groundhog for several weeks and, given the kind of damage they can, and have, inflicted on the house, my Beloved bought a trap so we could capture it and send it on its merry way via the City’s Animal Control van. He put the trap in the backyard with an apple for bait and, low and behold, the next morning there was a plump groundhog munching on the apple, seemingly unaware that his ingress and egress had been drastically reduced. The Animal Control officer took him away to a relocation place far from our yard. Expecting there to be more than one groundhog in the woods, we set the trap again and went to bed.
In the morning, we could tell that the trap had worked and captured its prey. What we could not tell from the house was that it was not a groundhog.
Rather, it was a huge, angry raccoon. He was so mad about things that he had turned the trap over in his machinations trying to escape, to no avail of course.
When I saw the pictures of the critter in the trap, my mind went to our situation as sinners. We each have disobeyed God, multiple times in our lifetime: in fact, it is more likely correct to say that we have disobeyed God’s law multiple times per day! We are caught in the trap of sin and we cannot, on our own merit or work, get out of the situation.
“The iniquities of the wicked ensnare him, and he is held fast in the cords of his sin.“
Then, in the New Testament, Scripture repeats that all mankind has sinned.
“For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.”
We are then told that redemption must come from outside ourselves as a gift of grace from God through the atoning work of Christ Jesus:
“For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,”
Like the raccoon that was trapped and unable to get free, we, too, are trapped in sin and we cannot get free even though we struggle and fight. Sin has too strong a grip on us. But, through the atoning work of Jesus Christ, and as a gift of God’s grace, we can be set free from sin’s trap.
“For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.”
Listen to the song “Free Indeed” as sung on Scripture Memory Songs: Overcoming Guilt, the song focusing on the words of John 8:36 and Galatians 5:1, using the NIV translation.
Praise the Lord for His incredible, wonderful gift of life and love in His Spirit and through His atoning work on our behalf.
Father, I praise Your name for your grace and your wonderful gift of life through your Spirit. Thank you for releasing us from the bondage of sin and death when we receive, by faith, Jesus Christ as our Savior.