Weaving Your Web
by Pastor George Van Alstine

Spiders are among nature’s coolest critters. They get a bad rap because a couple of species have a little poison in their bite, but most of them are downright friendly to humans because they chew on insects that want to chew on us.

One of the most fascinating things about spiders is the elaborate web many species create. Formed from chemical compounds within their own bodies, these webs are woven together in intricate patterns that are as beautiful as any fine art produced by humans. And a single spider is able to produce one of these masterpieces overnight.

The prophet Isaiah talked about how we humans tend to build our own webs as an alternate to following God’s guidance. Because of our willfulness,

“ . . . your iniquities have been barriers between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you . . . “ (Isaiah 59:2)

When we try to design our own lives without his help, we “weave the spider’s web” out of materials such as “lies,” “wickedness,” “empty pleas,” and “mischief” (verses 3-5). What we come up with may be quite impressive, and it may seem substantial enough to face life’s challenges. Indeed, the spider’s web is an effective tool — against flies! But, Isaiah points out,

“Their webs cannot serve as clothing; they cannot cover themselves with what they make.” (verse 6)

The author of the Book of Job had similar observations based on a spider’s web:

“Such are the paths of all who forget God; the hope of the godless shall perish. Their confidence is gossamer, a spider’s house their trust. If one leans against its house, it will not stand; if one lays hold of it, it will not endure.” (Job 8:13-15)

Maybe you’ve been pretty clever and self-reliant. After all the economic difficulties of the past few years, you still have your job and your house, and your family’s still together, healthy and prospering. Praise God, and show him thanks, but don’t take pride in the web you’ve built. The next windstorm may blow it all away.

That web you’ve put together is quite impressive, and it’s sure to serve you well, if all you want to do is catch flies. Bon Appétit!