A Spider's Web
They weave the spider's web. - Isaiah 59:5
Observe the spider's web and find in it a most suggestive picture of the hypocrite's religion. It is meant to catch his prey: The spider fattens himself on flies, and the Pharisee has his reward. Foolish people are easily trapped by the loud professions of pretenders, and even the more discerning cannot always escape. Philip baptized Simon Magus, whose deceitful declaration of faith was so quickly exposed by the stern rebuke of Peter. Routine and reputation, praise and promotion, along with other flies, are the small game that hypocrites take in their nets.
A spider's web is a marvel of skill: Look at it and admire the tricks of this cunning hunter. The deceiver's religion is equally seductive. How does he make so barefaced a lie appear to be a truth? How can he make his tinsel look so much like gold?
A spider's web emerges all from the creature itself. The bee gathers her wax from flowers; the spider doesn't, but still she spins her material to great length. In the same way hypocrites find their trust and hope within themselves; their anchor was forged on their own anvil, and their rope twisted by their own hands. They rest upon their own foundation and carve out the pillars from their own house, scorning the thought of being debtors to the sovereign grace of God.
But a spider's web is very frail. It is curiously constructed, but not enduringly manufactured. It is no match for the servant's broom or the traveler's staff. The hypocrite does not need a battery of cannons to blow his hope to pieces; a mere puff of wind will do it. Hypocritical cobwebs will soon come down when the broom of destruction begins its purifying work. Which reminds us of one more thought-namely, that such cobwebs are not to be tolerated in the Lord's house: He will see to it that the webs and those who spin them will be utterly destroyed. My soul, make sure to rest on something better than a spider's web. Take the Lord Jesus as your eternal hiding-place.
Family Bible reading plan
verse 1 Ruth 1
verse 2 Acts 26
Name above All Names
By Alistair Begg & Sinclair Ferguson
Jesus Christ has been given the name above all names, the highest seat of honor, the right to reign and rule. Yet the busyness of our lives and the diversions of this world often distract us from knowing the most important person we could ever know. Perhaps we need some help to see Jesus afresh.
In this thoughtful study and worshipful reflection, two influential pastors draw on decades of pastoral experience in order to guide us through the whole sweep of Scripture and examine seven key qualities of Jesus’s identity and ministry:
- Jesus as the True Prophet
- Jesus as the Great High Priest
- Jesus as the Conquering King
- Jesus as the Seed of the Woman
- Jesus as the Son of Man
- Jesus as the Suffering Servant
- Jesus as the Lamb on the Throne
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From Morning & Evening revised and edited by Alistair Begg copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.org.