It all started when I put a floating plant in my tropical fish tank. When I bought the plant, I had no idea that it was loaded with snail eggs. You guessed it, the hermaphrodite kind. Before long, dozens of tiny snails crept along the gravel bottom and up and down the aquarium glass. They did a great job cleaning up the fish waste and algae, so I left them alone. Big mistake. Soon, there were hundreds. I tried picking the little snips off the sides of the glass, but there were too many to keep up with. They kept multiplying, really fast, and I had to do something before I ended up with thousands of little pea-sized snails.
So, I set out some bait. I got an empty spice jar, the kind with a shake and pour lid, and I tucked some lettuce inside. Then I opened the pour spout, and I sunk the jar to the aquarium bottom. It worked! The snails S-L-O-W-L-Y crept into the jar, and when the jar was full, I pulled it up and got rid of them.* After about a week of snail baiting, I had a snail-free tank, and I was a happy fish hobbyist until . . .one evening when I noticed the gravel stirring gently in a corner of the tank. Then up from the depths slunk an endless parade of snails, itty-bitty clones of their pea-sized ancestors. Escargot anyone?
If you think about it, sin is a lot like snails. If you don’t get rid of it right away, it multiplies. Even if you think you are rid of it, sin finds a way of creeping back into your life. God knew this from the beginning. In fact, we’re lucky to be here at all. Genesis 6:5-7 (ESV) tells us:
“The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord was sorry that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. So the Lord said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them.”
God understood that if we humans were to continue, He had to do something desperate to get rid of our sin once and for all, and, of course His answer was Jesus, the One who paid for our sins and paved the way to eternal life.
The Bible says that everyone is guilty of sin (1 John 1:8). We can bait sin with good intentions, but no matter how much we pick at it and try to get rid of it, sin will continue to trouble us as long as we live. Isn’t it wonderful that Jesus came into the world to save us?
(* Safely transferred to my garden pond)