We have relatives who recently moved to the desert southwest. They discovered the house they rented was infested with scorpions. The husband was finally bitten, trying to catch these dangerous and unwanted insects. What was most concerning was the danger to their toddler and newborn. It was a deadly situation. The family called an exterminator, and the house was sprayed. It would be a nightmare living in a place so unsafe, not knowing who would be the next victim of a scorpion’s sting. After hearing this news, I sensed a nudge from the Lord to investigate the metaphor of a scorpion.
French sociologist Jean-Claude Passeronsaw said the metaphor of a scorpion refers to people who live under a delusion. They have an unconscious tendency to rationalize ill-conceived plans, and as a result of their deception, lead themselves and those who follow their delusion to ruin.
There is an animal fable called The Scorpion and the Frog. The fable describes vicious people who cannot resist hurting others even when it is not in their best interests. In the fable, a scorpion, which cannot swim, convinces a frog to let the scorpion climb onto the frogs back to be carried across a river. The frog wasn’t sure of the arrangement. He was afraid he might be stung by the scorpion. The scorpion argues if it did that, both of them would drown. The scorpion’s argument made sense to the frog, and he allows the scorpion to climb on his back. In the middle of the river, the scorpion stings the frog. As the frog dies, he asks the scorpion why it stung him knowing the consequence to both of them. The scorpion replies: “I couldn’t help it. It’s in my nature.”
The image of the scorpion riding atop the frog reminds me of this moment in our national history. We desperately need discernment not to assume all who want to travel with us are trustworthy. The witness of our love of God to the surrounding culture is at stake. Be wise and discerning who you allow to climb on your spiritual back to hitch a ride on the crossing we are currently experiencing as a culture. Without discernment, we can enable logically crafted arguments of deception to convince us to give something a ride whose only desire is to destroy the testimony of our faith.