What are ways we are trapped by the devil or an evil person? God promises to rescue us.
Psalms 91:3 states, “For He will deliver you (save you) from the snare of the fowler (trapper) and from the deadly pestilence (destroying plague.)”
When we trust God to be our refuge in verse 2, then He promises to save us from two things: evil snares and pestilence. In verse 3 above, a fowler is someone who catches birds but can also be interpreted as a trapper who sets a snare to trap something. In the context of this Psalm, the fowler is most likely referencing the devil. The fowler could be an evil person who entices you into a sin trap. For example, in Psalm 119:110 King David states, “The wicked have laid a snare for me, but I do not stray from Your [God] precepts.” And King David prays in Psalm 141:9, “Keep me from the trap that they have laid for me and from the snares of the evildoers!” Also see Ps. 140:5 and 142:3. And, Psalm 124:7 states, “We have escaped like a bird from the snare of the fowlers;.” The key to escaping evil snares that trap us in sin is to trust God and not stray from His truths.
God also rescues us from deadly pestilences. Pestilence has two meanings. The first meaning is any virulent or fatal contagious disease. And, the second meaning is dangerous doctrines to the morals and welfare of society. In this Psalm, the second meaning seems more plausible. Other interpretations use plague instead of pestilence. A plague is anything that afflicts or causes troubles or calamity, which could be a contagious or deadly epidemic disease, or we can be plagued by poverty or worry, etc.
[!] Can you see where pestilence is an unhealthy belief or wrong thinking about the moral issues of today? Can you identify any?
All traps to think unhealthy beliefs and wrong thoughts set by the devil is meant to destroy us. The following verses give greater insight into Psalms 91:3. John 10:10 states, “The thief [Satan] comes to steal, kill, and destroy.” 2 Timothy 2:26 states, “…that they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.”
[!] What types of snares does the devil set?
[!] How are we held captive to do the devil’s will? And what is the devil’s will? Is this an excuse to do wrong?
First, we are responsible to draw near to God and resist the devil’s schemes so there is no excuse for doing evil (see James 4:7,8). The types of snares will vary from person to person. The girls in the county jail are often caught in the snare of drugs and alcohol. Or they are looking for love and get caught in the trap of sexual sin. The snares are many and they are meant to destroy us or to enslave us. The trapper knows the habits of his prey and what will lure it into his trap. My son and husband had a trapping line in various streams that they would check early every morning. They knew the behavior of the racoon and what bait to use and where to set the traps. This may sound repulsive to you, but the devil sets traps for us according to our behavior and fleshly appetites.
Pray the following prayer in 2 Corinthians 2:11, which states, “so that we would not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs (schemes).” To not be outwitted by Satan, we need to keep our minds on God’s truths and not stray from obeying them. God will also protect us from all harm and pestilences or plagues when we turn to Him and trust Him for protection. I have experienced this first-hand, so I know this is the truth.
[!] Describe a time when you were caught in one of Satan’s traps that caused you to despair of hope, be impatient, unkind, angry, etc.?
The good news is that Jesus sets us free from all the snares of sin when we believe in Him and invite Him into our hearts (see Luke 4:18 and John 8:36).
The Bible explains many other ways we are snared:
Judges 2:3 states, “…their gods shall be a snare to you.”
Proverbs 18:7 states, “A fool’s mouth is his ruin, and his lips are a snare to his soul.”
Proverbs 21:6 states, “The getting of treasures by a lying tongue is a fleeting vapor and a snare of death.”
Proverbs 29:25 states, “The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is safe.”
1 Timothy 6:9 states, “But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.”