By Ronald G. Mosby
The summer season is Satan’s best time for fishing, except he fishes for men rather than for real fish. He’s been using the same bait since Adam and Eve and is still the champion fisherman of all ages. His bait is none other than deceit. The word, deceit, in the original language means: “A bait or contrivance for entrapping.” Thus, when a man slides a big night crawler over a hook or maybe a minnow and drops the baited hook into the water, he, in reality, is deceiving the fish. The fish opens his mouth and bites what appears to be something real good only to find that he’s been hooked! Likewise, when undiscerning children of God embrace some of the beautiful lures that Satan has dangling before their eyes, by and by they are hooked!
Sin is deceptive and has a hardening effect on men. The writer of Hebrews warns: “But exhort one another daily, while it is called today; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.” Human beings it seems are naturally prone to rationalize and to kid themselves into believing something is true in spite of the obvious circumstances to the contrary. In this respect we are no smarter than the fish that will grab the bait and run with it believing that he’s getting away with something. However, a little later when their resistance is down and all the fight is out of them, the patient fisherman at the other end of the line can easily take them captive “unto his will.” (II Timothy 2:26.) This is better understood as self-deception.
Paul warns of this when he said in Galatians 6:7: “Be not deceived: God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” It’s bad enough to be deceived by Satan to begin with, but when a person starts running with the Devil’s lure thinking he is merely exercising his Christian liberty in Christ, thus deceiving himself, this is worse! A man does this, in essence, when he sins willfully and then tries to justify himself by pointing to some mistakes of others that appear just as bad. If it could be known, I wonder if a fish ever felt comfort when he was thrown in with the other fish that had been hooked with the same bait? Even the selfish rich man didn’t feel any comfort knowing that his brothers would be sharing the same horrors of torment with him. (Luke 16:27, 28.)
I know it’s open season for Satan the year round, but I believe it’s particularly good fishing for him this time of year for the following reasons: (1) Brethren suddenly feel tired after a normal day’s work and miss the Sunday night or Wednesday night assemblies, and they cannot see that every time they miss they are falling prey to the lures of Satan and are bound to get hooked if they keep drifting into his direction. (2) It seems the summer weather has a way of slowing down all work for the Lord and speeding up all efforts in the directions of a vacation and a good time. Vacations have their place, but never for one minute should they cause us to shirk our responsibilities in the Lord. (3) What about personal work, visiting the sick, studying your Bible, and being an example before your brethren and others, in word, in conversation, in love, in spirit, in faith, and in purity? What about the wearing of clothing (or rather the lack of proper clothing) in places where it is considered immodest, thus bringing reproach upon yourself and the body of Christ?
The above are just a few of the lures that Satan has out 24 hours a day and he doesn’t sleep and then wait until morning to run his lines but is ever ready and waiting to deceive any who will fall prey to his lures. He is indeed our adversary and walks about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. (I Peter 5:8.) Therefore, we must be sober and vigilant, resisting the devil every hour to avoid falling into his snare. We must abstain from all appearances of evil. We must learn to hunger and thirst after righteousness and to meditate on the law of God both day and night. For we wrestle not with flesh and blood, but with powers and principalities, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. If we do not remember these things we will be hooked for sure, whether we know it or not or whether we will admit it or not, so let us put a special effort into our service to the Lord during Satan’s best fishing season.
Truth Magazine VI: 11, pp. 14