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The Spider Web Paradox

“Whose trust is in a spider’s web” Job 8:14

Spider webs are actually quite fascinating. Did you know that they are actually stronger, on a weight to weight basis, than steel? They are also far more strategic than we might imagine, with a design that actively attracts other insects into their trap. And while we are most familiar with webs as a fly-catching device, some spiders use their webs as sails to ride the wind or as waterproof houses to survive a rising tide.

But for all of a spider web’s strength and strategic engineering, a simple swipe of a broom brings the whole structure down in a moment like a house of cards.

That seems like a fitting parable of man’s attempt to live without God. The boast of the atheist seems strong. And those who live life with no reference to a Creator often appear quite successful. They seem to be getting what they want out of life. They have spun their web of industry and are catching money, fame, pleasure, friends, and power. 

But what happens when the broom of death and judgment falls? Bildad, one of Job’s friends, put it this way: “Their trust is in a spider’s web.” Everything in which they had confidence disappears.

Bildad was wrong about Job (more on that some other time), but he was right about the foolishness of trying to live life without reference to God.

What about you? Have you forgotten God in your life? Have you been carrying on in your career, your hobbies, your family, your plans…all without reference to the One who made you? Do you think that going on like you are…Godless, Christless, churchless…will make no difference in the end? Maybe you are trusting in your good works, your good reputation, your morality or integrity. Consider Bildad’s words: “Their trust is in a spider’s web.”

Your web, dear friend, feels pretty strong I’m sure. That is the spider web paradox. Weight for weight it is stronger than steel. And you feel the comfort of that strength and are sure you will be fine. But you forget about the broom. A broom in the hands of the smallest child tears the web down almost effortlessly. Imagine that broom in the hand of God. Job acknowledges this in the next chapter when he says “God is wise in heart and mighty in strength. Who has hardened himself against Him and prospered?” (Job 9:4)

Is your trust in a spider’s web today? If you are trusting yourself, it is. But there is a better way. Trust in Christ. Lean on Him. He has spun a web of righteousness which can never be broken. And as the Psalmist explains: “Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which cannot be moved, but abides forever.” (Psalm 128:1)

Photo by freestocks on Unsplash

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