“Blessed be the Lord, who has not given us as prey to their teeth. Our soul has escaped as a bird from the snare of the fowlers … Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth” (Psalm 124:6-8).
Fowlers were professional bird-catchers in the days before firearms. They captured birds by spreading a net on the ground and attaching it to a trap or snare. They would sprinkle corn on the ground near the trap and then, when the birds ate the corn, the trap would spring and the net would fly over them and capture them. Fowlers sold the captured birds for various purposes — as pets, as sacrifices, as food.
Throughout the Bible we see our souls likened to birds: “My heritage is to Me like a speckled [bird of prey]” (Jeremiah 12:9). So if we are “birds,” who then is the fowler? According to the Bible, the fowler is the devil himself. Satan is absolutely determined to overthrow every believer who walks in holiness and complete devotion to Jesus Christ.
Since the devil is not omnipresent and cannot be everywhere at once, he commands multitudes of demonic beings, principalities and powers of darkness. These demonic powers are at work laying traps for Christians. In fact, Satan also uses wicked people to lay demonic traps: “The wicked have laid a snare for me” (Psalm 119:110).
The psalmist writes: “Keep me, O Lord, from the hands of the wicked; preserve me from violent men, who have purposed to make my steps stumble. The proud have hidden a snare for me … they have spread a net by the wayside; they have set traps for me” (Psalm 140:4-5).
While it is true that Satan has an army of some of the most crafty, skilled fowlers on earth, the good news is that none of his attacks will succeed against the devoted child of God. No matter what your failure, your hardship or your trap, rest assured that God is on your side. Even when you’re weak, you can cry out to him and he will come and tear away the net. Just stand still and see his salvation!