An eight-legged hairy beast no larger than a teacup killed him. Pintu Sahoo, a man from West Bengal, died from tarantula venom after being bitten on a train commute to Chennai. Pintu jolted from a nap and complained of being itchy and restless, according to his wife, Pranati Sahoo. Anxiously concerned for Pintu’s health, they sought medical attention from the ticket examiner, but they were rudely rebuffed. Pintu was then examined by a worried fellow passenger who happened to be a doctor. He offered him painkillers to relieve his symptoms, though he wasn’t sure what was causing his agony. Upon arrival at the train station, Pintu was immediately admitted to the hospital. Surprisingly, the doctor downplayed the severity of the bite and merely prescribed medications to alleviate the symptoms.
Unfortunately, Pintu died because his bite was improperly treated. As reported by The New Indian Express, “Doctors [claim] that Sahoo could have been saved if treated on time. Delay in receiving medical attention spread the venom throughout the body of the patient.” Although the amount of spider venom was miniscule, and the bite itself was puny, it was lethal enough to kill him. One teensy bite from a tarantula turned fatal because it was treated carelessly.
There is another venom that is small but deadly, and if left untreated, it will kill far more than your body: lust. Jesus sternly warned about the deadly infection of lust in the Sermon on the Mount, and He said that radical measures must be employed to eliminate it:
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell” (Matt. 5:27-30).
Lust, an insatiable and sinful sexual desire for another person, should be treated urgently since it is trying to kill you like a lethal venom. Although it seems insignificant because it is only a desire, it is dangerous enough to drag you to hell. Thankfully, Jesus is the right (and only) Doctor to treat it. As Paul said, “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires” (Rom. 13:14).
And once you receive His salvation, He gives many proven prescriptions for overcoming lust: immediately reject it (Gen. 39:11-12), flee from it (2 Tim. 2:22), desire God (Psalm 42:1-2), and pray for a clean heart (Psalm 51:10).
Bible Gleanings is a weekend devotional column, written for the Murray Ledger & Times in Calloway County, Kentucky. In the event that the column is not posted online, it is be posted for reading here.