There once was a very old tale, written long ago. It can be traced back to ancient Sanskrit, written by a royal scholar named Bidpai. Remember?
A scorpion, being a very poor swimmer, asked a turtle to carry him on his back across a river.
“Are you mad?” asked the turtle, “you’ll sting me and I’ll drown.”
My dear turtle,” laughed the scorpion, “if I were to sting you, you would drown and I would go down with you. Why would I do that?”
“You’re right!” cried the turtle. “Hop on!” The scorpion climbed aboard and halfway across the river he gave the turtle a mighty sting. As they both sank to the bottom, the turtle desperately said:
“You promised you wouldn’t sting me. Why did you do it?”
“It is my nature to sting,” the drowning scorpion sadly replied. “After all, you knew I was a scorpion when you let me climb onto your back.”
After his recent conversion, Dave Mustaine (yes, this Dave Mustaine) released a new album earlier this year entitled ‘The System Has Failed’. In ‘The Scorpion’, he states:
As I climb upon your back,
I will promise not to sting.
I will tell you things you want to hear
and not mean anything.
I will treat you like a dog
as I shoot my venom in.
You knew all along
that I am a scorpion.
I thought I could make it across without getting stung by sin. But now that the poison is in my blood, my fear is that I’ll drown out here. It is as if my own sin is telling me “As you go down, remember one thing: you knew what I was when you invited me onto your back.” I don’t want to go down like this.
Yes, Christ forgives me.
Yes, as his adopted son, I’ll never be sent away.
Nevertheless, the stench of my sin must make God’s stomach churn. My nature [probably yours, too] is to return to our sin again and again, like a dog to his vomit.
We are called to die to sin. But sometimes I just can’t die dead enough.