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Noodling with Sin

Righteousness keepeth him that is upright in the way: but wickedness overthroweth the sinner. Proverbs 13:6

Noodling – a popular sport, especially in southern states, but illegal in many – is a sport where someone catches catfish with his bare hands. A noodler will stick his hands into a known catfish hole or under some brush in a river or lake and wait for the fish to latch on to his hand. The catfish will bite onto the arm of the noodler mostly as a defense mechanism to try to escape the danger, which then allows the noodler to drag the fish to the surface. Though it may sound exciting, there are many dangers involved with noodling. The simplest danger usually results in lacerations from the teeth and gills of the catfish, but it could be as serious as losing fingers from bites or infection. Added to that, even the most experienced noodler could be caught off guard when he suddenly has a large fish attached to his arm and cannot make it to the surface, causing him to drown. One of the greatest dangers of noodling comes when a noodler sticks his hand into a catfish hole and gets bitten by an alligator, snake, beaver, or snapping turtle that has taken over the abandoned hole.

Noodling for catfish is much like noodling with sin. Large numbers of people today play with sin as if it were a sport or a game. They see no problem with making themselves vulnerable to the wiles of the devil. They play at sin as if they could never get hurt, as if there are no consequences for sinning. But those who take this attitude could never be more wrong. Just because the initial consequences are not earth-shattering, or life-altering does not mean that there are no consequences. There are always consequences for sin. The devil will certainly try to hide the payment for sin as he presents it to a man, but, as the late Dr. R.G. Lee used to say in his sermon Payday Someday, “the devil always pays in counterfeit money.”

Those who receive only lacerations while noodling will most certainly return to do it again. However, losing a finger or a life is a very serious consequence that would help them learn the lesson to never go back to the sport – but by then it is too late to reverse the consequences. The same principle applies to those who sin. God may have to get severe with His punishments for those who do not learn the easy lessons, and then it will be too late to reverse the consequences. Playing with sin never ends well. Allow the things God is doing in your life right now to get your attention before He has to make things worse.

Read also: Proverbs 13:1-9

Quote of the day: "Only fools fool with sin.”

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