by Richard Mansel, managing editor
I once saw a neighborhood where every house looked identical. Someone wondered how a person who was drunk would be able to tell which house was their own. I read an article recently where a man on drugs wandered into the wrong hotel room and caused a fight.
We shake our heads at such errors but we may need to consider that this is applicable to those who are lost spiritually. In doing so, we will find one of the more ingenious methods Satan uses to pull people away from God and a sobering warning.
Jesus tells a parable about a man who owned fields and planted good seed. However, trouble stealthily came to his farm. Scripture says, “but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way” (Matthew 13:25, NKJV).
The mischief is discovered and when the harvest comes, the tares are harvested and burned and the wheat are saved (Matthew 13:26-30).
Jesus explains the parable, thus opening our eyes to more detail and meaning. Jesus identifies the people in the parable and identifies the enemies as agents of Satan (Matthew 13:36-42). The gospel is sown in the hearts of men and Satan tries to steal it away (Matthew 13:18-23).
Satan has always deceived men in order to take them away from God (John 8:44). He uses whatever tricks and schemes available to him so that his lies appear to be truth (Ephesians 6:11).
The tares are described as “the sons of the wicked one” (Matthew 13:38). They use their sleight of hand to poison people’s minds (2 Corinthians 11:13-15).
Tares are what we would call darnel or the bearded darnel. It is a “vigorous grass that resembles wheat or rye.”/1 It is almost indistinguishable from wheat when it is young. /2
It is very interesting if you consider that these tares are there to pull people away from God. The bearded darnel tells us how that will happen. When these tares or bearded darnel were consumed, they “produce all the symptoms of drunkenness: a general trembling, followed by inability to walk, hindered speech and vomiting.”/3 The Romans used it to refer to a “dim-sighted person.”/4
Satan ostensibly intoxicates people so that they will not see what is right. Man’s freewill remains, but man allows himself to be deceived, as if drunk. When we are impaired, we cannot see or think properly. In fact, some have even referred to darnel as “Cheat.”/5
We see this everywhere.
“Attend the church of your choice.”
“You have your truth and I have mine.”
“We are all going to the same place, except on different paths.”
These people have become drunk on the deceptions of sin and they cannot tell the truth of God’s Word or the Lord’s church from the fake ones. Satan places the bright, shiny lies before their eyes, obscuring the real gospel of salvation.
Satan speaks God’s Word but brings in just enough error to poison the hearers and they follow him to their deaths, just like he was the pied piper (Genesis 3:1-6; Matthew 3:6).
Satan is an astounding liar and he clouds the mind with his web of lies until man’s eyes cannot focus and their feet stumble and the Lord’s truths are lost in the inky darkness of hell.
Do not be drunk on Satan’s sweet words because they will kill your soul.
2/ A.T. Robertson, Word Pictures in the New Testament Concise Edition, edited by James A. Swanson (Nashville: Holman Reference, 2000), 28.