Deadly Deception (by Len Winneroski)

Unknown“You live in the midst of deception; in their deceit they refuse to acknowledge me,’ declares the Lord.” Jeremiah 9:6, NIV

Is there anything more beautiful than a jellyfish propelling itself through the ocean? There is something captivating about jellyfish. The Box Jellyfish, which lives in the waters around Asia and Australia, has a box shaped medusa bell that is roughly the size of a basketball and tentacles that can grow up to ten feet long. They are blue in color, which makes them almost invisible as they move gracefully through the water. Although this jellyfish is brainless and looks peaceful and innocent, they have a deadly secret.

Did you know that the Box Jellyfish is the most venomous animal in the world? The ten-foot tentacles are each armed with over 5,000 harpoon shaped needles that contain venom that is more toxic than that of the King Cobra. These beautiful creatures have inadvertently killed over 5,500 swimmers since 1954. More people have died from this jellyfish than from any other marine animal, including sharks. Box Jellyfish venom contains a neurotoxin that is toxic to the nervous system, the heart and skin cells.

Their sting is so incredibly painful that unsuspecting swimmers who become entangled in their tentacles either go into shock, drown or die of heart failure before reaching shore. There is almost no chance of surviving a sting from this animal unless the swimmer is fortunate enough to be pulled to shore and have their stings immediately treated with vinegar (acetic acid).  The Vinegar disables the jelly nematocysts (needles) that have not yet discharged their deadly venom into the swimmer’s bloodstream.

As I was pondering these incredible facts about the Box Jellyfish I could not help but think about how well jellyfish and their toxin describes sin.  My experience is that sin doesn’t usually show it’s deadly side in the beginning. Just like the jellyfish, sin entices us to come closer to watch, listen, read, drink or touch. Before you know it you are stung and dying from its venomous wrath.  The Bible says, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” (Hebrews 12:1, NIV)

Evil is real, and it is actively recruiting those who will drink from its lies. The Bible says that the devil and his intentional and unintentional followers are “false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.” (2 Corinthians 11:13-14, NIV) The Scriptures also tell us to, “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. ” (1 Peter 5:8-9, NIV).

So what are we to do as we live in this world full of deadly deception? The Bible tells us that God’s children must “walk in the light, as He (Jesus) is in the light,” but when we stumble, and are infected with the deadly venom of sin, we have to get out of the water immediately and run to Jesus. Thank you Lord for the promise that, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us from our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1John 1:7-9, NIV)  So are we suffering today from sin’s deadly venom?  Run to Jesus.  Are there people around us right now drowning under the influence of sin?  Let’s pray for the strength to pull them out of the water and bring them to the Healer.

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