Three scenarios have me thinking…
Living in the country we get some of the biggest spiders I’ve ever seen. I’ve lived in the Caribbean among tarantulas that are as big as your hand. The ones I’ve encountered here are not far from that. As we drive up to our house at night our car lights will often catch a shimmer between the trees exposing their massive and intricate webs. The spiders are very strategic. They don’t run after their prey, but instead, they hide and wait quietly and patiently until their meal flies right into their invisible trap. When everywhere is dark and silent, they attack.
Second scenario. I was at Conner Prairie – an interactive museum that takes you back to the 1800s. If you ever visit their village you will first walk past signs that read: “TVs…Phones…Airplanes…Internet…Cars…Do Not exist beyond this point.” The people that work there are dressed to fit that era and “act” as though they are really from the 1800s, though they have me convinced that most of them really are from the 1800s.
Once, my son Elijah had the audacity to ask the blacksmith if he knew then as much as we know now. The man glared down at him with a somewhat intimidating scowl and said,
Son, how do you think you got to the point of knowing what you know now?
Without giving Elijah time to answer he continued, quoting 2 Tim. 3:2.
In the end, ‘People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy.‘
Then he looked at me. I had my cell phone in my hand and he asked,
What do people take with that there devise of yours?
I’m not sure I follow. I said.
They take a self…
OH! A Selfie! ohhh…a selfie. I’m following you now… “Lovers of themselves.“
What’s that a picture of on your phone there? he asked, giving a clue that he wasn’t really from the 1800s.
It’s an apple. I replied.
And why is there a bite taken out of it? asked the old man.
My puzzled look pushed him to continue.
Have we taken a bite of the knowledge of good AND evil? See, we were never meant to know everything. Maybe we’re becoming like Adam and Eve, trying to be like God – not needing God when all the knowledge we “need” is at our fingertips?
Looking back toward Elijah, who had now gone off to play with the hula hoop and stick game, he again turned to me and said,
We here in the 1800s may not know all that you know now, but not ALL knowledge is good. It’s funny how they blatantly put a picture of an apple with a bite taken out of it on that there devise of yours.
I began to think, It IS so obvious. But we’re so addicted to it that we don’t care.
I was stunned by his comment and all ears waiting for him to say something more. I honestly began to wonder if he might be a prophet.
What do you call it? he continued. The World Wide…?
Web. I answered.
What does a Web do? He asked.
It traps things.
What is it called? The inter…
Net. I answered.
What does a net do?
It also is a trap, I said.
He went on to say, I’m not saying all technology is evil… just giving you something to think about.
Dear Blacksmith from Conner Prairie (and sometimes the Lenape Indian),
Believe me, I have thought long and hard about it.
As I pondered the way of a spider and his web, I am very much reminded of our enemy, Satan. He is patient. He is strategic. He hides in the dark ready to pounce at just the right time. He doesn’t just run after and attack his prey but hides and waits until we walk right into his invisible trap.
Could one of his “invisible traps” be the worldwideWEB or interNET, as the man at Conner Prairie suggested? A web that took years to intricately weave together full of good and evil – but because it contains good, it’s acceptable to all – even believers. Slowly, it has become something we can’t live without. All of our bills are attached to it. Our income depends on it. Our communication relies on it. Our “friends” are contained in it and slowly we become hypnotized by a new world beyond our own – beyond the world of abundant life.
I was reading the book of Revelation this week. Chapter 13 talks about the “Mark of Beast” and how people will not be able to buy or sell things without it. Here it is…
Then I saw a beast rising up out of the sea. It had seven heads and ten horns, with ten crowns on its horns. And written on each head were names that blasphemed God. 2 This beast looked like a leopard, but it had the feet of a bear and the mouth of a lion! And the dragon gave the beast his own power and throne and great authority. 3. I saw that one of the heads of the beast seemed wounded beyond recovery—but the fatal wound was healed! The whole world marveled at this miracle and gave allegiance to the beast. 4 They worshiped the dragon for giving the beast such power, and they also worshiped the beast. “Who is as great as the beast?” they exclaimed. “Who is able to fight against him?” 5Then the beast was allowed to speak great blasphemies against God. And he was given authority to do whatever he wanted for forty-two months. 6 And he spoke terrible words of blasphemy against God, slandering his name and his dwelling—that is, those who dwell in heaven.[a] 7 And the beast was allowed to wage war against God’s holy people and to conquer them. And he was given authority to rule over every tribe and people and language and nation. 8 And all the people who belong to this world worshiped the beast. They are the ones whose names were not written in the Book of Life that belongs to the Lamb who was slaughtered before the world was made.[b] 9 Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand.10 Anyone who is destined for prison will be taken to prison. Anyone destined to die by the sword will die by the sword. This means that God’s holy people must endure persecution patiently and remain faithful. 11 Then I saw another beast come up out of the earth. He had two horns like those of a lamb, but he spoke with the voice of a dragon. 12 He exercised all the authority of the first beast. And he required all the earth and its people to worship the first beast, whose fatal wound had been healed. 13 He did astounding miracles, even making fire flash down to earth from the sky while everyone was watching. 14 And with all the miracles he was allowed to perform on behalf of the first beast, he deceived all the people who belong to this world. He ordered the people to make a great statue of the first beast, who was fatally wounded and then came back to life. 15 He was then permitted to give life to this statue so that it could speak. Then the statue of the beast commanded that anyone refusing to worship it must die.16 He required everyone—small and great, rich and poor, free and slave—to be given a mark on the right hand or on the forehead. 17 And no one could buy or sell anything without that mark, which was either the name of the beast or the number representing his name. 18 Wisdom is needed here. Let the one with understanding solve the meaning of the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man.[c] His number is 666.[d]
I’ve read this before thinking – oh yeah, I don’t need to worry about that. It’s so obvious – just don’t put 666 on my body and I’m all good.
But even with it being so obvious, will it matter? Will we be so addicted that we just don’t care? So what would Satan have to do to get us to take such an obvious mark as 666? Might he just have to train us first? Train us to depend on something external for our survival – something like a phone with an apple, the interNET or wwWEB? Might he try to get us addicted to its contents and dependent on its provision? Then over time, like a spider in the dark, the bait and switch.
While observing the way of a spider, chatting with a wise man from Conner Prairie, and after reading the book of Revelation, I got to wondering…
Do I have the mentality of someone who would willfully take the mark of the beast?
Have I traded in my child-like trust in my heavenly Father who knows all things for the knowledge I can acquire from my phone?
Have I placed my faith and hope in the internet as my provider instead of trusting in God – who doesn’t need the web or net – to take care of my needs?
Do I have a Mark-Of-The-Beast kind of mentality?
Do you have a Mark-Of-The-Beast kind of mentality?
As I write this, I am terrified to answer that question. Today, I challenged myself to limit my phone usage for 40 days. I’m not terrified that I will starve to death as some might be for refusing the mark of the beast. No, I’m terrified of missing something – or missing out. How dumb is that! If that terrifies me, do I really have the kind of courage needed to resist the tool that would allow me to buy and sell things?
I’ll leave you with this…
I’m not saying all technology is from the devil. I’m just giving you some things to think about.