A deliciously, morbid tale, portraying the deadly consequences of succumbing to temptation. Why Yes, it is a children's book.
The Spider and the Fly is interesting to say the least. Charming poetry, wonderful black and white illustrations, and an unhappy ending make for a memorable story, and an appropriate vehicle for teaching such a valuable lesson. And what a lesson it is. Our first parents failed this test, and we haven't faired any better since.
What baffles the mind in these failures, is that we know the outcome. We aren't blindsided. We held the answers before the tempter ever entered the scene. And when he does arrive, it is often with a question.
"Will you walk into my parlor?" said the Spider to the Fly.You already know where this is going don't you? So does the Fly.
She steadfastly resists the Spiders innocent invitation, as she follows him through the door. Repeatedly she declines each gracious offer as she listens intently to every word. This girl has knowledge. She won't be fooled by this fellow.
But she is not only a Fly of brains, but also of beauty, which our observant and admiring Spider compliments her on. After delighting in his flattery, she kindly says goodbye.
The Spider hurriedly prepares his web, for he knows she will soon return. His wait isn't long, for he calls out to her of her beauty. Mesmerized by his words she draws near, never to leave again.
Yes, the story is a little morbid. Which is probably why I like it so much. It does a wonderful job of showing the alluring nature of sin and its inevitable consequences. The bible tells us to flee from temptation(Gen 39:12); to run from it. When we linger in the presence of temptation, sin loses its sinfulness.
- It's not that wrong.
- I can handle it.
- I know what I'm doing.
These and a host of other justifications are made in defense of what we want, but know we should not have. We often do a better job of talking ourselves into sin than any tempter ever could. Our resolve weakens with each passing moment that our eyes gaze upon their desires. We will give in. We are fools to think we are strong enough.
I read this tonight to the boys, and it led into a discussion on the dangers of temptation. They immediately saw the how foolish the Fly was to stay and listen to the Spider, knowing he only wanted to eat her. I pray they learn from the Fly's mistakes, and always run before it's to late.