Several weeks ago when the weather turned a bit wetter, we suddenly developed a somewhat sizeable, in-house ant problem. A couple of places were soon ‘crawling’ with them. It was at that point that we learned about these little ‘killer’ liquid ant baits. The way they work, is that the sickly sweet liquid draws the worker ants, who then take some of the slow-working poison back to the nest, laying down a pheromone trail as they come and go, so that other worker ants will then follow the same trail to the bait and back, unwittingly helping to spread the sweet but deadly poison throughout their entire nest, before it eventually kills each one of them off individually, reportedly some 24–48 hours after their consumption of it.
And… it works! And how it works — and worked — was simply an amazing, and yet appalling and frightening thing to watch. The sickly-sweet liquid bait apparently appeals to the ants’ natural instincts and tendencies. After its being opened and placed, the unsuspecting ants quickly discovered it, indulged in it, and set up a two-way, ‘super highway’ to and from it. Wide was the path that led to their destruction and many were they that found and enjoyed it for a few fleeting moments! We sought not to disturb their ‘path’ — ological indulgence, but to do whatever we could to promote it — such as systematically stepping over their little parade of poison-bearing brethren, instead of squashing all of them we saw marching lock-step back and forth each time we crossed or came near it. After all, we wanted them completely annihilated and this was a devastatingly effective and easy way to accomplish exactly that.
Perhaps it was because their digestive systems soon began self-destructing as the poison promised, but it wasn’t long before some of them started to die along the trail. Dead carcasses soon began dotting both the delivery route as well as piling up around the pool of poison they were passionately pilfering. It didn’t matter; the mindless and masochistic masses just marched right past them, crawled right over them, or in some cases (I’m told), probably even carried the poison-laced carcasses of their former co-workers back to the nest to cannibalistically consume, eventually likewise becoming victims of their own all-consuming appetites as they ingested the now infected and death-laced corpses theirs would subsequently now soon join.
Today, the trail to the bait is pretty much abandoned. Occasionally some straggler that escaped the deadly swath of destructive indulgence will still make its way to the pit of poison, push past the few pitiful corpses that still remain either perched on the edge or piled up inside of the plastic poison pit packaging, partake of and bask in the momentary sweetness of the bait, and then seek to return and share the decadently deadly but deceptively well-masked discovery with whatever few ant-family members might still remain alive at the nest — at least for the moment.
As I considered this all-consuming trail of tragedy (my wife said at one point that she actually felt sorry for them), I could not help but sadly consider some of the parallels between the ants’ destruction, and some people when it comes to their all-consuming and driving desire to indulge in death-dealing but incredibly, deceptively, well-masked and sickly sweet sin. Satan — who wants to see all of us painfully destroyed simply because we are the handiwork and creation of almighty God whom he hates with all his heart — systematically sets out the sickly sweet but ultimately deadly bait of sin before our eyes constantly (Rom. 6:23). He tempts us hundreds of times a day to indulge in, or partake of, some sinful action that he advertises as so sweet at the time (Gen. 3:1–6; Prov. 9:13–18), but is nothing more in reality, than thinly-disguised death and destruction waiting to happen, deceptively designed to destroy us slowly (Jms. 1:12–16; 1 Jn. 2:15–17). Worldly and ungodly “worker ant” types proudly parade and perpetually present their prideful prize-packages of poisonous and perverted indulgences, seeking to implant them ever deeper into our families’ hearts, minds, souls and living rooms, through radio, television, and internet portals into our little family “nests,” thus incrementally infecting and infesting both ourselves and our family with their seductively sinful, deceptively deadly, and soul-destructive poison — so sweetly and completely disguised as something good and acceptable (Isa. 5:20)!
And although some folks can clearly see the unavoidable swath of death and destruction such sinful indulgences cause (they themselves having been hurt or affected in some way already by sinful indulgences resulting in broken lives, broken homes, and broken hearts), they go right along with them, join in lemming-like lockstep, and get caught up in and swept along in the same poison parade of perversion as well (Prov. 14:12)! And Satan certainly doesn’t bother them — in fact, he seems at times to go out of his way to not disturb their little death march (Ps. 73:3–12). But oh, what an agonizing end those who perpetually and impenitently indulge in such sin — and are also responsible for supporting and spreading it around — are in for according to God’s word (Prov. 6:12–19; Rom. 1:18–32; 1 Cor. 6:9–10; Gal. 5:19–21; Eph. 4:17–5:17; Col. 3:5–11; Rev. 21:7–8).
But just imagine with me for a moment… what if there was a way out? What if there was a way of escape? What if, a much more highly intelligent life form with an infinitely superior understanding to that of the ant, could somehow become one; teach them how to read the warning label on the death-dealing substance; and get them to look at life from a higher perspective than simply, fatally following their deadly instincts and desires? How many other ants do you think would listen and seek to exit the wide and easy pheromone avenue of annihilation? Would you if you were an ant? Or would you just continue to carry on, indulge your desire, parade your poison, and share and shower its deadly influence with and upon anyone who would listen?
Because the above described scenario is very similar to what our loving, eternal, and almighty God, Creator, and Father in heaven did for humanity when He sent His one and only begotten Son, Truth Incarnate, the Word become flesh to earth, to dwell among us and teach us godly wisdom when it comes to how to avoid sin and escape destruction (See Jn. 1:1–17; Matt. 7:21–27; also Phil. 2:5–8; 1 Jn. 1:5–7).
How many are truly willing to really listen and change direction? Or, will they just keep indulging in and supporting the spread of such sinful poison as Satan is passionately and consistently seeking to systematically shove down all our souls? How many lives has one got to see bruised, busted, broken and buried by sin before they realize that God’s way is the only way to life? Or, will they blindly continue to behave like some of the health care professionals who daily have to deal with and experience the emphysematic end of so many individuals who die a slow and painful death struggling for every last breath… and then methodically and masochistically make their way to the outside picnic table and smoking area to light up again themselves… as they stand, and watch, and maybe even seek to squash, the little parade of ants methodically making their way across the sidewalk to the sweetly-beckoning soda cup some other worker left behind? What a tragic irony…