Share The Scriptures: Jeremiah 5:26 and Job 18:8-10
Object Used: An ordinary mouse trap.
Teach The Lesson: My dear young friends: You may think that possibly there was a time when wicked men did not desire to destroy others, as is so often the case in this day; but hundreds of years ago, God said, "Indeed, there are wicked scoundrels among my people. They lie in wait like bird catchers hiding in ambush. They set deadly traps to catch people." Jeremiah 5:26 NET Bible
I suppose you have all seen traps. There are a great many different kinds. Some are very dangerous, and yet you cannot see the danger until you are caught, or until you see some other person who has been caught in the trap. Now here is a trap. (show mouse trap) I suppose that you have all seen such traps as this, and possibly have them in your own homes, to catch the little mice which destroy your food, and often times do great injury.
Now, this trap does not look dangerous to the unsuspecting mouse. The little wire, which is to be drawn up by a strong spring to choke the mouse to death, is concealed, and he does not know that there is a wire there at all. He simply smells the piece of cheese. This tempts his appetite, and, as he is fond of cheese, he desires to obtain it, and so he attempts to crawl in through this small hole to get the cheese, but the moment he nibbles at the cheese, it disturbs the little catch which holds the spring, and when it is too late to escape, the little mouse finds that he has been caught. Then he does not think of the cheese, but struggles to get loose and escape out of the trap. But all of his struggles are in vain, and after a few moments he is choked to death. Then the man, or the housewife comes, takes the little mouse out of the trap, and with the same piece of cheese the trap is again set for another unsuspecting mouse. So people go on, day after day, catching one mouse after another, with the same trap and with the same bait.
|"Free me from the trap that is set for me, for you are|
my refuge." Psalm 31:4 (NIV).
Graphic by Christian Clip Art Review.
Then there is the theater that shows x-rated films, the kind that even older children are not allowed to see. Good mother's and father's never take children to these movies because these show scenes of things that condition people to think in wrong ways. These kinds of movies deaden the moral sense, pollute the mind and lead people away from the ministry of Jesus. These films are made to rob the individual person of virtue, and of integrity, and of faith in God.
Then there liquids, foods and drugs which are dangerous for young people and for older people too. Things like --- tobacco, and cigars, and beer. When we use these things in just a small amount as some responsible big people do, they will not hurt us. But when we are very young, we can not determine this for ourselves and even a very small amount of alcohol or smoking can hurt a child. This is why it is illegal for little folks to smoke or drink. Sometimes even big people can not control how much of these things they should take into their bodies and these mistakes lead to killing others while they are driving and to abusing their family members. How many people they hurt and sometimes kill, all in the name of fun.
People who sell things like alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs set traps which are meant to take our money. In each of these products exist a chemical that can possibly rob each of us of health and strength if we are not careful about using them correctly. No small, young boy or girl who uses tobacco (cigarettes) in any form can ever be strong like the children who do not use tobacco. Some children begin smoking cigarettes, and then go on to smoke cigars, and then follow with drinking alcohol, and so on. Step by step, they go on down the road of many addictions. Grown up people called this "substance abuse."
Those boys or girls who have gone fishing on a calm, beautiful summer day, and have looked down through the water, have often seen the fish as they gathered around the hook, and then watched them as they nibbled at the bait. First they come up very shyly, and barely touch the bait with their nose. Then they come again, and possibly just bite a small trifle -- barely taste of it. Then, again and again they nibble at the hook, until finally they open their mouth's wide to get a large bite only to discover that they have swallowed the hook. Then it doesn't matter how much they flounder about, and struggle to get away, it is too late, it is impossible for them to escape. They are pulled into the boat or upon the bank, and a few hours later are on the stove, being cooked for some hungry fisherman.
Just so evil people and/or Satan are always looking for those whom they can tempt with things that other people seem to enjoy freely without anything bad happening to them. And step by step they sometimes convince very young children to do the things that their parents warn them against. These people seem to think that in their individual case, the results will be very different, but the results are almost always exactly the same. Addiction to drugs and alcohol is a common problem with many grown up people and even more deadly for a little child.
You will notice that this mouse trap has four different places where mice can be caught, and is it not strange that when one mouse enters on this side, and is caught, and is lying there dead, that another live mouse should come along, and see the same trap and desire the same thing, and walk right in to the same danger, and the same sure death? You would think that when he saw that the other mouse had been caught, and had lost his life, that he would turn away. But instead of that, he smells the cheese, walks right into the trap, and is caught, and within a few moments is as dead as his neighbor.
So we can see others who have been hurt by abusing drugs, alcohol, tobacco and sex; these abuses have paved the way for their destruction, going on step by step. We see people all around us who have squandered all their money and lost all their friends, and been forsaken by their own parents, their wives, and their children; who have become outcasts, and for whom no one longer has any respect. We see these things daily, and yet some of us still go on in the same way, beginning our own addictive pleasures going, step by step, until we end up hopelessly lost and sometimes dead. These people are like the little mice that get tempted by the scent of the cheese and wish to eat. Do not be like the foolish mouse, which sees its dead companion in the trap, and then walks up unthinkingly and pokes his head into the same inevitable death and destruction; but remember that there is evil in a world where the enemies of God wait to destroy you, just the same as many have been destroyed before you.
In the book of Job it says, "A rope is hidden for him on the ground and a trap for him lies on the path." (18:10) "and in the 8th verse of the same book and chapter it says, "For he has been thrown into a net by his feet and he wanders into a mesh." Satan and those people who follow him have laid traps and snares all along your path through life. We will need to be very, very cautious not to believe that we are not capable of falling into traps like others.
Remember this text for this morning, which says, "Indeed, there are wicked scoundrels among my people. They lie in wait like bird catchers hiding in ambush. They set deadly traps to catch people." Jeremiah 5:26 (original text, Pastor Sylvanus Stall D. D.)
Questions for Discussion Afterwards:
Questions for Discussion Afterwards:
- What does God say about our own weaknesses?
- What is a trap? Describe the traps set for mice and fish.
- What are some of the traps set by evil people and/or Satan?
- Can we avoid traps with God's help?
- How will God help us to avoid traps?
- How can we know the difference between drugs that help people and drugs that hurt people?
- What does God say about respecting your body?
- How does God expect us to respect someone else's body?
- What does it mean to be 'addicted'?