“For we are but of yesterday, and know nothing, because our days upon earth are a shadow. Shall not they teach thee and tell thee and utter words out of their heart? Can the rush grow up without mire? And the flag grow without water? Whilst it is yet in his greenness, and not cut down, it withereth before any other herb. So are the paths of all that forget God; and hypocrites hope shall perish: whose hope shall be cut off, and whose trust shall be a spider’s web. He shall lean upon his house, but it shall not stand: he shall hold it fast, but it shall not endure.” Job 8:9-15
These are sobering scriptures from the Book of Job spoken not by him, but by his supposed friend Bildad the Shuhite. Though he spoke truth, his words were not acceptable to the Lord because he spoke from a self-righteous heart. What we are going to examine in this message is the spider’s web. It seems that we are living in a day when people are putting trust in something as fragile as the spider’s web. The only One worthy of our complete trust is the Lord Jesus Christ.
A few days ago I had the pest control guy come out and spray the outside of my house because the fire ants were taking over. I had noticed a huge orb web made by a garden spider. These webs can grow as large as 3 or 4 feet in diameter. The king of this elaborate, yet fragile mansion, is huge and can eat a grasshopper for lunch. The “Bug Man” explained to me that they are not allowed to kill these spiders because they are really “good” spiders since they devour more “pesky pests” in the garden, like the grasshoppers who devour plants and vegetables. This was all new to me. I knew the garden spider is harmless and, though formidable in appearance, I had become accustomed to his presence. I had slowly learned to tolerate this spider and neither he, nor his elaborate web weaving from fence to bush in my garden, posed a personal threat to me.
This week, when seeking the Lord for a message, I kept hearing the word “examine the spider” in my heart. Now Solomon was told to “consider the ant” so I didn’t think this subject was all that far out. First, I went outside to carefully examine the garden spider’s web. It was incredibly intricate with what seemed to be a hundred or more chambers and of course different bug species caught in some of the chambers.
The next step in my study was to go to the internet and do a google search on “How does a spider make its web?”. This is where this particular study took an interesting turn. I found some pretty basic information on how web spinning spiders always spin silk. They are designed by our Creator to jump rapidly from thread to thread spinning the silk as it goes. This cross links the threads and makes the diagonal sections to create the elaborate yet ordered patterns of their web. The silk threads are very fragile and can be torn but are able to resist heavy rains. However, if a web is damaged the determined spider will begin once again to spin another web. As I was reading with interest about the spider I noticed a few google articles on spiders that linked it to the internet.
So here is what I found. “Web spiders are probably one of the most useful tools ever developed for the internet. After all, with millions of separate and different sites out there today, how else can you gather all that information? A spider does one thing – it goes out on the web and collects information. The way a typical spider (like Yahoo) works is by looking at one page and finding the relevant information. It then follows all the links in that page, collecting relevant information in each following page, and so on. Pretty soon, you’ll end up with thousands of pages and bits of information in your database. This web of paths is where the term ‘spider’ comes from. ”
The more I researched this topic the more I saw the parallel, on a global scale, of the “Internet” or World Wide Web. The internet is actually the “world at your fingertips”. Since Eve’s fall in the Garden there has always been an insatiable hunger in the human psyche for information. Satan knows this only too well. The technology of the internet is mind boggling in terms of world impact on the souls of mankind.
I began to consider just how the internet is like my garden spider. At first many of us were afraid of the internet, wondering where on earth it would lead us. Some pastors drew the line a few years ago that they would not use the internet except for job related functions. I drew a boundary years ago that I did not want the influence of a TV in my home; however, this internet thing is so different than TV. Television is passive – internet is interactive. If you want to “visit” a particular topic or area you have to “search” and can literally go anywhere on the web much as the spider jumps from thread to thread. There are millions of people worldwide literally jumping (the web calls it “hits”) looking for something to satisfy their every lust. There is a growing world wide hunger for anything to satisfy the God-sized vacuum in the human heart that only reconciliation with the Lord Jesus can bring. People will turn to anything for a temporary respite from the pain of aloneness and their major disconnect from God. The rapid success of Facebook (the mother of social networking) shows the strength of the “need” to connect with others. I believe this tool can cautiously be used for good because many are using it to lift up Jesus.
When I was young my mother would let me go alone to the library. This was the most fascinating place to me. There were thousands of books and the realization I could never read them all forced a mental decision to narrow my interests in life and read only the ones that would edify me. I see the internet as a global Library with much evil but some good. My biggest concern is that it connects anyone instantly to a “world of information”. We need to be very cautious in its use because “friendship with the world is enmity with God.”
I believe we can prayerfully continue to use this incredible tool of the internet. However, strong boundaries have to be established in every home. Since children now are more savvy with computers than their parents they know they can make a “hit” in a moment of time with their parents totally unaware. A simple search on “You Tube”, using decent parameters, will open a host of ungodly suggestions. The spirit of seduction is working overtime on the internet and anyone can be lured into the snare of seeing things unholy. Could the internet be the end-time “snare” that Jesus spoke of that would come upon the world to try the world?
“For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth.” Luke 21:35 In Strong’s Concordance the word snare means noose or trick, stratagem. We know who the master of entrapment is. If someone has jumped around the web from site to site thinking it was harmless, and being drawn deeper and deeper into the inner chambers of the spider’s web, could it be like my outdoor pest the “grasshopper” who couldn’t get disentangled from the web if he tried. He was trapped. Long before the grasshopper knew he was caught in the “snare” he was probably like the man about to be hanged who had the noose around his neck, but the rope had not been pulled yet.
This message is not to put fear in hearts but “caution”. Our Lord Jesus is coming soon. It is time to repent and keep ourselves “unspotted from the world”. Our God is a jealous God. Is our time so consumed with even the good things on the internet that they have taken the place that the Lord alone must have in the affection of our hearts? God forbid!
One final thought pertains to the spider itself. In Proverbs 30:27, Solomon reveals a very positive quality about the spider. The spider is very tenacious and able to enter even “King’s palaces”. Everyone who reads this blog needs to get a “grip on eternal life”. Our Creator designed the spider’s legs to be able to leave his own web easily. My prayer is that we will know when it is time to leave the web.
“Watch ye therefore and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.” Luke 21:36