I’m thinking today about verse 7 which says, “We have escaped like a bird from the snare of the fowlers; the snare is broken and we have escaped!” Three things stand out.

First is how we sometimes (oftentimes?) get ourselves into a pretty mess simply because we decide to take the bait. There is no doubt Israel has enemies who devised calamities and plots intended to bait or lure them into a trap. But the thing is that the best their enemies can do is “intend.” They cannot force and they cannot compel. If Israel ends up in a bad place, it’s because of a decision they made. Biblical history tells us they made some pretty bad choices.

Second is the fact that God doesn’t hold it against them, does He? He doesn’t berate or belittle, He doesn’t shake His head in disgust or say, “How stupid can you be to fall for this?! Don’t you ever read My Book?” To the contrary, He hears their cry for help – a cry they are unworthy to utter since they are where they are by their own doing, this is no one else’s fault – and He jumps in and rescues. There appears to be no “I told you so’s” or anything like that. Rather, coming to them (and “them” is “us”) from a place of knowing how weak they are (Psalm 103:14), He breaks the snare and provides a way of escape.

The third and final thing is how much more grateful I am when God rescues me from something that is my own fault than when He rescues me from something that is not (Can I get a witness?)! There is, in my own heart at least, a deeper sense of, and appreciation for, His mercy and kindness and compassion when I realize that I have to say, “God, can You help me? I’m in a tough spot here and it’s all my fault. I know You don’t have to help me, but would you please?” And then when He does, joyful worship erupts from my heart.

I’m wondering today how this verse might be landing on you? Are you in a place where you need to respond to someone who has asked you for help, and you are struggling because you can see that their situation was preventable, and now you have to get involved and help clean up a mess you didn’t create? Or are you in a place where you need to humble yourself before God and ask for help, all the while admitting to yourself and to Him that you are where you are because you made a dumb decision? Or are you in a place of rejoicing from a recent experience where the unmerited mercy and grace of God led Him to rescue you from the “snare of the fowler”? I trust God will make it clear to you!

Scott Smith
Connection and Growth Pastor

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