“We are all infected and impure with sin.
When we display our righteous deeds,
they are nothing but filthy rags.
Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall,
and our sins sweep us away like the wind.”
Isaiah 64:6, NLT
There are things that happen to us— the ugly, awful and rigorous things, that only God himself can explain. We read theology and we read our Bibles, we listen dutifully to preachers we still approach the throne of Jesus more mystified than anything else.
We are seem to be playing ping-pong with the most challenging issues. We come to Him, because there is no one left who can answer things that have perplexed everyone else. Why do we suffer? Why does evil exist? Why do people who live in blatant sin, succeed? Why am I sick all the time?
If God is really God, why doesn’t he just give us an explanation about these questions? Our title talks about being “spellbound.” Are we really that inured, or attached with a sinister evil? To be spellbound means we are being confused, drugged or hypnotised by something quite awful. A cobra rises up, and opens its “hood.” Its victim is entranced by what it sees in front-of-it. He soon becomes supper.
Being held captive is a ordinary occurance for human beings. Captivity brings us imprisonment. Usually in a dark, dirty and unpleasant place. But yet, it intrigues us so much, and the “light” is such a boring and dull thing. We feel great as we trade the truth for lies. But what a deal we reason; “step right up, and exchange it for the lie!”
“And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.”
Ephesians 2:1-3, ESV
From this new and fresh influence we come under the control and will of ‘the dark side’. (And this is not merely “Star Wars‘ mythos. It is very much real.) We gradually give ourselves over, in a reasonably predictable pattern. We think we are pretty much unique in this, but the truth is that we are pretty much ordinary. Sin never enhances us. Don’t believe the lie.
”And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.”
There comes a point when there is enough momentum and weight, that it creates an avalanche. At this point things have gotten desperately grim. From a human standpoint, there will be no way to avert the inevitable. Sin will roll over you, blasting into your life, and worst of all into the hearts of your family. In a stark way— things get very dark, very fast.
Sin will always enslave. It will turn on you and rock your world.
But we are so entranced by what it wants to give us. It looks so good…one could call it “self-actualizing.” (Maybe even “liberating!”) But in one of the many purposes of the Old Testament, is to clarify what happens in people’s hearts when we step down and let the sin and confusion take over. You could say, that there will be pleasure for a brief season, but it will always have a very savagely grim and a black conclusion. ”For the wages of sin is death.”
“If God thinks this state of war in the universe a price worth paying for free will then we may take that it is worth paying.” C.S. Lewis