Sunday, June 3, 2012

Lessons of the Spider Web

I came across an interesting verse in the book of Job the other day that has a reference to spiders' webs.
"So are the paths of all who forget God ...... whose trust is a spider's web. He leans on his house but it does not stand..."  Job 8:13a,14b,15a

Who would choose to lean on a spider's web for support ?   Only someone who is foolish, surely!
Yet, God says that those who lean on anything other than Him are leaning on spider's webs.
Trusting in this world's wisdom,  believing its promises of fortune or fame will give no more security than leaning on a spider's web to keep from falling.
God tells us .. "Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding;" Prov. 3:5 

And yet, even though scripture mocks our trusting in the 'spider web' promises of man's reason or resources, God has build into the spider web wisdom that scientists are only today beginning to fully appreciate as they grapple with aspects of the web that  defy their understanding.

God has hidden in the details of a spider's web,  His creative encouragement that we might trust His promises with the full confidence of  heart and mind !

1.  The beauty of the spider's web ---   Who has not admired a spider's web and wondered at the spider's ability to weave with such accuracy the lacy pattern of his web.
If a tiny spider can weave a perfect web, could we not trust God to weave our life into the  pattern of His perfect will and design for us ?
Jer 29:11 "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope." 

2. The strength of the spider's thread -- Weight for weight a spider's thread is up to 5x as strong as steel.
How weak we often feel as we are confronted by the confident, loud voices of this world. We know that in our own strength we are no match for what man or devil can bring against us, and yet -- what does God promise ?   Even though we look and feel like a fragile spider's thread, God's strength is perfected in us as we lean on Him in our weakness.
2Co 12:9  "And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness."  

3. The spider's web can withstand great testing -   A spider's web can withstand hurricane-strength winds. It's thread stretches to 40% before it breaks. Compare that to steel that breaks at 8% and the nylon used in our stockings that breaks when stretched to 20%.
If God  created this resilience in a spider's web can God not build in us an ability to withstand all temptation that comes against us ?
1Co 10:13  "No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it."   

4. The spider's web is designed to adapt to bearing different types of loads -    Unlike any other natural or man made material the silk threads in the spider's web have an ability to soften or stiffen uniquely enabling them to adjust to  the varying weights of things  that might fall upon it.
We all have 'loads'  or burdens that we must carry and sometimes we feel that we will be crushed under the weight of our burden.  And yet we can trust that God has enabled us to carry not only our own 'load' but also to relieve one another and help to carry their burdens.
Gal. 6:2a,5 "Bear one another's burdens..... For each one shall bear his own load."

5. Timing is everything --   The spider secretes a substance called scleroprotein from which it spins its silk threads. The spider controls the water content of this gel to keep it from crystallizing before it is ready to spin.  If the protein crystallizes too soon the whole process would fail.
How often we become impatient or frustrated as we wait for God to answer our prayers.  And yet, timing is everything -  if God answered prayers according to 'our time'  how often would His purposes fail !  So we can trust that even when God's answers seem delayed, the delay is simply God waiting for the perfect 'time'.
Ecc 3:1  "To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven" 

6. A broken thread strengthens the web -  The spider's web has an unusual property that is intriguing scientists  designing earthquake proof buildings. When one of the threads of a web breaks, the web instead of being weakened is actually strengthened !   And even if there are many defects in the web its mechanical function is unharmed.
How often circumstances beyond our control cause hurt and turmoil, discouragement and despair in our life- and we wonder how God can cause good to come or how He can use us where we find ourselves in our brokenness.   And yet, what does God promise?  He promises that He will work even the difficult things of our life for good.
Rom 8:28  "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."

7. The spider web's proteins are salted  
The proteins in the substance that spins out the silk threads are salted to protect the web from the decay caused by bacteria and fungi.
Bacteria and fungi -- the sins that 'decay' our life.   Are we protected ?   Yes...  God's Spirit in us 'salts' us with conviction and forgiveness --  we need but ask!
 1Jn 1:9  "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 

Perhaps next time you observe a spider's web... stop a moment and consider the wisdom God hid in its threads and listen for His voice whispering "Trust Me!"


Anneliese said...

Amazing, what one can glean from studying a spider's web! I love the point that a broken thread strengthenes the web. It reminds me of how painful situations can make us stronger as we uphold each other.

Thoughts on Life and Millinery. said...

Oh the casual thing that God speaks of and yet He has packed so much into each word. Are we not blessed that we can dash to our books and computers to unpack the treasures God has tucked into His words?

Anonymous said...

Everything is relative in some slight way, or even in or many ways. The power of heart is a mighty thing, we will do almost anything for it. If we are always safe, always saved, always helped we are here but never really know it.

Anonymous said...

POWERFUL lessons and how wonderful and perfectly the word of God is demonstrated through a 'common' spider's web. Thanks to the writer.