Mature Class Study, teacher Alyce Crain.
What is a pit? It’s a hole in the ground, a cistern, well, a chasm, an abysss, a bottomless pit, dungeon or trap to confine someone, spiritual corruption, destruction, the grave, intellectual and moral depths. There are all kinds of pits. Each one leads to the same pit of sin. It leads to hell and doesn’t discriminate. It will swallow whoever it can. It is trying to suck us in. It’s darkness and separation from God.
People in sin think they know enough about God. Picture a smiling, young person in a pool with her arms resting on the edge of a pool and the rest of her body in the water. This is the vision God gave Alyce about young people who are just starting out in life but haven’t gone far to into sin. They are right at the edge of the pit and don’t know the depths to which they will undoubtedly sink unless they’re saved.
What it looks like: The top of the pit is meant to be enticing with shiny things around the edge that invite you to get in. If you get near the edge, it will crumble in. There are slippery slopes by the edge that keep you from climbing out. There’s false light to entice souls further down into the pit. The false light of religion hides the darkness of the pit. False religion is anything you put before God. The pit is darkness and separation from God. It’s a very dark place in the pit, like solitary confinement pits in the Mideast. There’s no place to lie down and rest. It’s meant to be torture. The pit has expanded itself.
Isaiah 5:13-14 Therefore my people are gone into captivity, because they have no knowledge: and their honourable men are famished, and their multitude dried up with thirst. Therefore hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure: and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoiceth, shall descend into it.
Who is in the pit? Demons are there. Sinners are there whose names aren’t written in the book of life. Some people are in shallower (children raised in church) but they’re still in the same pit and subject to the powers there. Some are in deeper (who went farther in sin). Some see they’re lost. Some look innocent. Some wander the streets because they lost their minds.
What lures people into the pit? Lies and deceit lure people there. The smoke of lies and deceit has darkened the sun and air so the truth and light are obscure. The torment of the scorpion’s sting releases neurotoxins that make people’s nerves fire with excruciating pain. Most people don’t die but suffer. The neurotoxin is like the effect of sin. It’s painful and paralyzing. The torment brings shame, depression, despair, and inescapable hopelessness so people turn to addictions, gambling, and suicide.
Revelation 9:1-6 And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit. And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit. And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power. And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads. And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months: and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man. And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them.
Are we letting in little spiritual foxes by tiny steps at a time? Little foxes of laziness? (Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep – Proverbs 6:10). Have we let in a little folly? (Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savor: so doth a little folly him that is in reputation for wisdom and honor. Ecclesiastes 10:1) . Have we let in a little leaven? (…Know ye not the a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? I Corinthians 5:6). A little leaven causes a reaction that can grow and ruin our lives. Have we let the little tongue work? (Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasters great things. Behold how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity… James 3:5-6). What we speak can be devastating to others. Do we have little gratitude? God wants us to be thankful in everything (I Thessalonians 5:18)! There’s a blessing in everything, even our trials.
Song of Solomon 2:15 Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes.
There are things that look desirable and harmless. Young people know a lot but there’s an element of ignorance and unbelief that draws them to the pit and traps them. What happened to push young women to dress so scantily? The young man ignored the warnings. We can’t prevent our children from going into the pit of sin. They have a nature to commit sin.
Proverbs 7:21-23 With her much fair speech she caused him to yield, with the flattering of her lips she forced him. He goeth after her straightway, as an ox goeth to the slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of the stocks; Till a dart strike through his liver; as a bird hasteth to the snare, and knoweth not that it is for his life.
Ant bait is a tasty lure that ants take home and the whole colony is destroyed. When you fall into the pit, you spiritually perish. Korah affected his whole family so they all perished in the pit. Be careful of the friends you choose. The Israelites ran away who saw it. When we see sin affecting people, we need to flee from the evil and separate ourselves. Don’t think you’re strong enough to stay around or be involved in things others are being taken by. People can be right in church and be taken into sin if they don’t have a real connection with God. People in the pit call for us to join them because they want company, but the pit is a solitary place where souls are isolated from everyone!
Numbers 16:31-34 And it came to pass, as he had made an end of speaking all these words, that the ground clave asunder that was under them: And the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up, and their houses, and all the men that appertained unto Korah, and all their goods. They, and all that appertained to them, went down alive into the pit, and the earth closed upon them: and they perished from among the congregation. And all Israel that were round about them fled at the cry of them: for they said, Lest the earth swallow us up also.
People in the pit are hiding their suffering.
The Pit (author unknown) –
A man fell into a pit and couldn’t get himself out.
A subjective (sympathetic) person came along and said, “I feel for you down there.”
An objective person walked by and said, “It’s logical that someone would fall down there.”
A Pharisee said, “Only bad people fall into pits.”
A mathematician calculated how deep the pit was.
A news reporter wanted the exclusive story on the pit.
A self-pitying person said, “You haven’t seen anything until you’ve seen my pit.”
A fire-and-brimstone preacher said, “You deserve your pit.”
A Christian Scientist observed, “The pit is just in your mind.”
A psychologist noted, “Your mother and father are to blame for your being in that pit.”
A self-esteem therapist said, “Believe in yourself and you can get out of that pit.”
An optimist said, “Things could be worse.”
A pessimist claimed, “Things will get worse.”
Jesus, seeing the man, took him by the hand and lifted him out of the pit.
Jesus is the only one who can get us out of the pit. He wanted people to see that he came to help them get out of the pit. He doesn’t want us living close to the pit but wants to lift people out of the pit. Do our personal religious traditions hinder us from helping people get out of the pit? The Pharisees had hundreds of years of practicing their law and were very strict but they totally missed the goal of helping others. Are we afraid to reach in the pit to rescue lost souls? We may have to get on our belly, get dirty (humble), and be in uncomfortable situations when we’re reaching in the pit to help lost souls.
Matthew 12:9-14 And when he was departed thence, he went into their synagogue: And, behold, there was a man which had his hand withered. And they asked him, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath days? that they might accuse him. And he said…What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out? How much then is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days. Then saith he to the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it forth; and it was restored whole, like as the other. Then the Pharisees went out, and held a council against him, how they might destroy him.