The Siren Song of the Abyss

Have you ever stood at the edge of a great height and looked down? From the safety of an intervening window, there is a panorama spread out before you. But if you’re standing on a ledge, there is the immediate danger of falling precipitously.


Yet you can’t resist looking down. Even though all it takes is a slight shift of gravity to fall spiraling to your death.

A quick look down and you step back from the precipice. But only if you can resist the compulsion to lean forward just a little bit more.

But you think you’re in control. You know the risks. You can stop yourself before you go too far. You’re in control.

It’s what we say to ourselves when we take the reins of our life into our own hands and out of God’s. We’ll be pragmatic. We won’t wait on God. Or when we give in to the temptation of that besetting sin, yet again. Just this once, because we’re in control. Or when we dismiss God’s word for man’s philosophy, trade His commands for society’s values, and abandon seeking the glory of God for seeking our own glory. Just this one time. Because we’re in control. Until we’re not.

The abyss of the world’s allure is hard to resist. Its siren call can fill our heads. Are there particular temptations whose allure seem almost too great to resist? I have more than a few.

As Christians, what is it that keeps our center of gravity from shifting forward and tipping us into what Psalm 18:15 calls “the channels of the sea,” chaos and evil, from plunging to the “foundations of the earth,” the deadly decay of sin?

When by the Holy Spirit we look away from the abyss to our Father in trust, when by His grace we remember that Christ Jesus died to save us, only then can we step away from the abyss.

Let’s not fool ourselves into thinking we can look too long into the abyss and remain in control.

Therefore will I hold me still in the Lord,
And wait patiently for Him;
And my heart shall be refreshed,
Yes, my heart shall be refreshed,
In the multitude of peace.
-Amy Carmichael

2 thoughts on “The Siren Song of the Abyss

    1. Thanks for pointing that out. That Christ Himself had to face that temptation is significant. And His defense was the word of God, namely Deut. 6:13 – “Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written,

      “‘You shall worship the Lord your God
      and him only shall you serve.’”(Matthew 4:10)

      We should be mindful of who it is we end up worshipping when we follow a temptation the world offers which is contrary to the law of God.


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