Avoiding an Arrow to the Liver: A How-To Schematic

Naivety is No Excuse…Sin crouches ever, always after you. But you must master it.

“With her many persuasions she entices him;

With her flattering lips she seduces him.

Suddenly he follows her

As an ox goes to the slaughter,

Or as one in fetters to the discipline of a fool,

Until an arrow pierces through his liver;

As a bird hastens to the snare,

So he does not know that it will cost him his life.”

Proverbs 7:21-23

As a healthcare professional I always cringe as I visualize this word picture. The liver is highly vascular demanding up to 25% of the heart’s blood volume or cardiac output. Our liver is required for life and it has multiple life-preserving functions. One of these functions is the breakdown, preparation and packaging of food products for the provision of energy to the trillions of individual cells which comprise our body. Another sustaining and necessary action of the liver is the continual filtration of our blood by the breakdown of byproducts of metabolism either for further use or as refuse to be removed. 

The naive sinner enters into an encounter with the harlot who masterfully entices by full-court press of visual, auditory and sensual pictures calculated to turn a man’s head and grip his heart with the promise of pleasure as never before experienced. This seduction always continues for a season in its hunger for success until suddenly lust is conceived, born of wearisome temptation that had chipped away at rational defenses. And he follows and falls. Sin offers a sweet but deadly kiss as the arrow pierces the liver exacting required toll for its lie against truth. (Judas committed the Crime of Humanity by a not-so-innocent kiss upon the cheek.)

The arrow enters the vital organ as sin accomplishes its hideous and designed end: DEATH. Imagine now the slow and agonizing death suffered as the toxins cease to be packaged for removal but now build as secret poisons, self-induced by ceasing to follow clear rules for maintenance of purity of life. Blood supply diminishes from insidious loss as weakness dulls the senses with clouded brain that starves for lack of oxygen and required food stuffs to fuel clear thinking and necessary bodily functions. Confusion increases and lethargy advances as dangerous metabolites destroy by consequential necessity as the liver fails. And the sinner perishes by his naivety of believing a lie of the passing pleasure of sin rather than choosing to believe and wait upon the Lord who promises true treasure and lasting pleasure in His presence and Right Hand. You remember Who sits at His right hand, don’t you?

Considerations of a novice armchair theologian but professional sinner:

1. Sin always entices at your point of perceived need and desire, or it develops new desires by adventurous promises of greener pastures. 

2. Sin is deceptively accurate in the promise of immediate pleasure. This is true. Sinning is fun but at the expense of true joy and life. The perceived sanity of sin once unmasked is always insanity. 

3. Sin attacks you on every front in relentless rational promises designed to disguise the lie. The ruthlessness of temptation can never be underestimated and at the moment of its victory sin seems perfectly reasonable and legitimate. We don’t sin to do wrong; we sin because we have justified its rightness as vision is clouded by insatiable lust after what we think we have a RIGHT to enjoy.

4. Sin always and only ends in death, most often agonizingly slow with ample time to reflect upon the consequences of despising the warning signs by skillful neglect of the escape route that the Father ALWAYS builds into any life situation. 

5. The door of escape I personally have discovered with ready access is located adjacent to the entry of the path of temptation. Once you enter into the door of temptation by deliberate choice or naive action of indifferent experimentation, conscience becomes dull and a genuine desire to escape via the once clearly defined route is now cloaked from your vision. When the dominoes of temptation and lust and sin and death initiate a tip and fall, escape is IMPOSSIBLE. Repentance then becomes the goal for recovery. 

Several concluding thoughts…

1. “There is a way that seems right to a man but it ends in the way of death.” The label on any particular sin you currently ponder always has fine print that is difficult to read and a hidden skull and crossbones that signifies its lethal destructive lie. Choose wisely. Consequences can be hell. 

2. “No temptation has overtaken you but that which is common to man, but God is faithful and won’t allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, and with the temptation will provide the way of escape.” Thank God! Tinker with sin and forget this promise. Sin and it tempting power is consistently defeated in bud-form when first conceived as a thought. When it enters the mind’s eye or hearing ear, destroy it by gospel power. Tear down the thought. Cast down vain sinful speculations. Keep gospel armor on with the helmet of salvation securely covering your thoughts and desires. As a believer you have the very mind of Christ. Be renewed in your mind. Present yourself as a living sacrifice to God as conformity to the world is unmasked in all its temporal folly.

3. Any man who approaches any temptation to resist sin by natural strength or moral fortitude will fail. I guarantee it. Even if he is successful in resisting the temptation by native disposition and personal will power, he ultimately fails. You see, then the destructive blight of pride and a filthy robe of self-righteous deception is adorned as this one begins to despise others who fail to overcome as he. Christ and His glory is minimized as prideful self is exalted at the expense of grace and glory to God alone. 

4. The hope and reality of the promise of forgiving grace is imparted to all repentant sinners. God restores the fallen. God releases the captive of sin. God acts not based on merit nor personal performance but by the provision of our impossible needs in the sufficiency and possibility of Christ. We enter into life as God heals the wounds of sin’s arrows and death blows by the very blows the Father inflicted on the Son of His delight. Justice pierced Him and He died not in defeat but for designed purpose of defeating the cause and consequence of the man’s transgressions. Through one act of righteousness, (the work of the Lamb upon the Tree), we the many, receive the promise and gift of life. “But to as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe upon His name.” And that dear friend is why we “Go tell it on the mountain!” We a story to tell to the nations. 

We need to ponder this today. God’s caution to Cain, the first offspring of Adam and Eve, was not heeded as God warned Cain, “Sin is crouching at the door and its desire is for you, but you must overcome it.” God says that to every human walking the earth today with every temptation we encounter. He speaks in conscience and circumstance and Natural Law until we silence His voice and reject His light by sinning away grace and hardening the heart. Sin is after you… but Jesus alone knows its true power as He ONLY resisted it to perfection and mastered it as He put it away by His holy life and perfect redemption in death.

Flee to Christ. “Awake sleeper, arise and Christ will shine on you!”

 “We have no other confidence,

We have no other plea.

It is enough that Jesus died,

And that He died for me.”

Brevity has apparently died or was hopelessly misplaced in 2015. Matters not… we have been entrusted with Truth and Life.