You never heard of the Fruit Fly Casino? There’s one in our kitchen, and likely in many others, too. Fruit flies can be a plague when you are handling fresh fruit, and they are so hard to keep out. Hence, the fruit fly casino.
The design is simple: it’s a small open jar containing bits of tempting bait (like tomato, peach, banana). Over the top of the jar is an inverted plastic bag, the opening of which is secured tightly around the top of the jar with an elastic band. A couple of tiny slits at the corners of the bag allow smells to escape and fruit flies to enter. And that’s it.
These casinos are typically placed where there is a proliferation of fruit flies that need to be… well, they need to be caught! But the fruit flies are unaware. All they know is the delight of good smells and good tastes. A little like the instincts of this world? They fly near the casino, and go away, then come again, and again, each time little bolder. Finally they go searching for the entrance. There it is!
They are IN. And once inside, it’s a feast! All ready for them! And look at the friends already in!
They feast and play awhile. But leave? They can’t find the way out. Try as they may, they are CAUGHT. And before long, it’s all over. They fall. Dead.
What is another name for the casino? You guessed it: a TRAP. Like the owner of a real casino once said, “We build mouse traps. And we catch MICE!”
Traps to catch the unwary.
Sin makes traps. Scripture has posted numerous warnings about these traps. They are all about something that seems good at its beginning, but the end is dismal. Think about the common Proverb:
Proverbs 14:12 12There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.
This thought was important enough to have two addresses in Proverbs.
Proverbs 16:25 25There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.
No alternatives posted. Here is what makes it most treacherous: that the way “seems right”—our natural human inclination doesn’t see it for what it is. The “way” is attractive, it looks good, the scenery is attractive, the travelling is smooth. BUT, says Solomon, Think about the end. Where is it taking you?
It is the story of the wicked woman:
Proverbs 5:5 5Her feet go down to death, Her steps lay hold of hell [Sheol, the pit, the grave].
The same is said about the way of the wicked. Is there any hope? There is! God even has helpers on duty, the “watchman,” in this case Ezekiel. God says,
Ezekiel 33:8 8When I say to the wicked, ‘O wicked man, you shall surely die!’ and you do not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand. 9Nevertheless if you warn the wicked to turn from his way, and he does not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul.
Then God states His mercy plan. He does not want ANY to die, but only TURN and LIVE. He has not intentionally planned a trap. He is only appealing to us to TURN. God says to His prophet:
Ezekiel 33:11 11Say to them: ‘As I live,’ says the Lord God, ‘I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why should you die, O house of Israel?’
God is going to take down the evil, so He says, “LEAVE IT!” Using another simile, John the Baptist said,
Matthew 3:10 10And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
God is going to leave ONLY the trees that bear good fruit. All through Scripture, the similes change. But the fundamental truth is the same.
Proverbs has more warnings:
Proverbs 20:17 17Bread gained by deceit is sweet to a man, But afterward his mouth will be filled with gravel.
Is there any way out except by turning around? Isaiah found people trying it in his day, but it didn’t work. They thought they could make the casino work for them. They could have the pleasure AND escape the pain. Could they? No way!
Isaiah 28:15–19 15Because you have said, “We have made a covenant with death, And with Sheol we are in agreement. When the overflowing scourge passes through, It will not come to us, For we have made lies our refuge, And under falsehood we have hidden ourselves.”
Did they think they could get ahead of God? It was a vain hope.
But the prophet goes on to say that God has even greater One in His plan, one who is coming to deliver, a tried and true deliverer.
Isaiah 28:16–19 16Therefore thus says the Lord God: “Behold, I lay in Zion a stone for a foundation, A tried stone [examined, proven, tested]
A TRIED stone is one that has been examined, proven, tested, and still held fast. This was said by Job:
Job 23:10 10But He knows the way that I take; When He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold.
Doesn’t that describe Jesus Christ? The prophet Isaiah is speaking expressly of Jesus. Peter quotes Isaiah’s words:
1 Peter 2:6 6Therefore it is also contained in the Scripture, “Behold, I lay in Zion A chief cornerstone, elect, precious, And he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame.”
God will be absolutely just and fair. He has a standard fixed. That is how the building will be graded:
Ezekiel 43:12 12This is the law of the temple: The whole area surrounding the mountaintop is most holy. Behold, this is the law of the temple.
The rule of the temple will be “Most Holy.” The very BEST
The prophet Isaiah says more:
Isaiah 28:16 16Therefore thus says the Lord God: “Behold, I lay in Zion a stone for a foundation, A tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation; Whoever believes will not act hastily. 17Also I will make justice the measuring line, And righteousness the plummet; The hail will sweep away the refuge of lies, And the waters will overflow the hiding place. 18Your covenant with death will be annulled, And your agreement with Sheol will not stand; When the overflowing scourge passes through, Then you will be trampled down by it.
God will have the last word.
As with the fruit fly casino. Present pleasure is but for a moment. The fruit fly pleasure is brief.
Isn’t that the way with sin? It may look attractive, but “the end” is what we want to remember.
There is another warning about making the wrong choice. It is so easy to pick up from those around us, that is what the fruit flies seem to do. We pick up from our associates, even when we may not realize it. Proverbs warns:
Proverbs 22:24–25 24Make no friendship with an angry man, And with a furious man do not go, 25Lest you learn his ways And set a snare for your soul.
Let’s be alert. Sin in any guise spells danger. A trap. A snare. Jesus says this of his own second coming.
Luke 21:34–36 34“But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. 35For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. 36Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.”
Just do a little comparing: the fruit fly level of life… the fruit fly level of pleasure with immortality? Unreasonable? Yes, but that is probably about how the angels view OUR choices sometimes… when we make choice of something HERE ahead of the future GOD has offered us?
It’s a bit like Moses choosing the reproach of God’s people rather than the pleasures of Egypt. Read it from the New English Bible translation:
Hebrews 11:24–26 (NEB) 24By faith Moses, when he grew up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, 25preferring to suffer hardship with the people of God rather than enjoy the transient pleasures of sin. 26He considered the stigma that rests on God’s Anointed greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for his eyes were fixed upon the coming day of recompense.
He put the godly level ahead of the casino. Let’s show ourselves as wise as he—no fruit fly folly for us! Even when it looks delicious. We want the ETERNAL joys that captured Moses’ heart, the immortal joys of the coming day of recompense.