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Avoiding the Viper

A Series from a Rebuke of Israel: Isaiah 59:1-5

“They hatch vipers’ eggs and weave the spider’s web; He who eats of their eggs dies, And from that which is crushed a viper breaks out.” Isaiah 59:5.

Speaking of those he has been describing, Isaiah uses two really graphic metaphors here to paint the picture he wants to convey. “They” refers to the wicked men who are corrupting Israel, and “vipers” are deadly poisonous serpents, whose bite is symbolic of spiritual death.

His meaning is that wicked men hatch up thoughts and plans that are as destructive and deadly to their spiritual condition as the viper’s bite is to their bodies. Or they weave shallow tales that are as flimsy as a spider’s web. One is destructive and the other meaningless. Isaiah is talking about the sins of Israel: Israel’s sense of justice has been overthrown by corruption, wickedness, and shallow men.

The one who “eats of their eggs” is the person who becomes involved with the wicked men—he dies spiritually. The one who crushes the “viper’s eggs” releases a snake of destruction, and he can expect to find himself the victim of the viper’s bite—that is, he will be the victim of the evil actions of the wicked men and, consequently, be separated from God.

Today, we can never become complacent in a world of “snakes” and “spiders”—rather we must ever be cautious of their eggs and their webs. Wicked influences surround us, but we must exercise the good judgment to recognize those influences for what they are and keep ourselves a significant distance from them.

"Thought for the Week - 02/22/2015" Joe Norton of Arlington, Texas.