The spotted water hemlock is labeled the most toxic plant in North
America. People who eat it can die within just two hours. And it’s not
an easy death.
Here’s how Steve Brill (a NY-based foraging expert and tour guide of
plants of the Northeast) describes what happens when someone eats
spotted water hemlock:
“Every single muscle starts firing and contracting, so you have
convulsions, you chew your tongue into ribbons, you vomit but then
you can’t open your mouth because the jaw muscles are contracting
10 or 20 times as hard as they normally do, and you die a horrible
Pretty gruesome, huh!
It also twists the arms and ankles and turns the head back. They say
it even turns the eyes back.
Again, this is the deadliest plant in North America.
One bite can kill you.
It’s ironic that something so pretty can be deadly.
Be on Guard!
Satan often works the same way, doesn’t he?
He masks the true ugliness of sin and causes it to appear
pretty and even necessary.
As the master of lies, Scripture tells us:
“Satan can change himself to an angel of light”
(2 Corinthians 11:14 The Living Bible).
That’s why Peter encourages us to keep our guard up.
He says, “Be careful.”
Guess what—those are ACTION WORDS.
We can’t “be careful” if our guard is down.
“Be careful—watch out for attacks from Satan, your great enemy.
He prowls around like a hungry, roaring lion, looking for some victim
to tear apart” (1 Peter 5:8 TLB).
Though temptation often appears as pretty—
Satan’s attacks can be spiritually toxic.
What should we do when he attacks?
Peter gives us the answer in the next verse:
“Stand firm when he attacks.
Trust the Lord;
And remember that other Christians all around the world are going
through these sufferings too”
(1 Peter 5:9 TLB).
Good to know we’re not alone.
We have each other.
And we also have the Holy Spirit who will empower us.
This next year . . . let’s commit together to keep our guard up.
To watch out.
To be careful.
And not to be taken in by something that simply looks good.
Let’s pray for discernment.