In 1996 a man in Malaysia broke the world record for living with 5,000 scorpions for three weeks. Ali Khan comes from a long line of snake charmers from the Indian city of Bangalore. He said he did it to bring glory to his nation and recognition for himself. He admitted being bitten 95 times. The previous record had been set by an Indonesian, who lived with 4,000 scorpions for 15 days.
In 2004 Nur Malena Hassan, who has been called "the Scorpion Queen," reclaimed the world record by spending 36 days locked in a box with over 6,000 scorpions. She lived in a 12-foot by 10-foot glass box, in a shopping center, and was allowed out of the box only 15 minutes a day. She was stung 17 different times during the attempt.
In 2003 she set the record by spending 30 days with 2,700 scorpions. But her record didn't last long as Kanchana KetKeaw, from Thailand, went for 31 days with over 3,000 scorpions. In 2004, Ms. Hassan almost missed the opportunity to reclaim her title due to the fact she couldn't find enough scorpions. Fortunately, (ahem) they did. By the way, her favorite movie to watch? Spiderman.
Attempting to set world records, even bizarre ones, is apparently pretty common in Malaysia which once boasted the world's tallest building in the Petronas Twin Towers. Still one has to ask what on earth would possess someone to lock themself in a glass box, for a month, full of scorpions? True, not all scorpions are deadly, but all possess venom and all have stingers.
Why would anyone want to play around with scorpions? Wouldn't you have to be out of your mind to consciously and deliberately put yourself in a position where you might possibly and most likely be stung by one of those things?
Maybe it's the same phenomenon that causes people to play with sin – the rush of getting away with something. Why would anyone in his or her right mind want to play around with sin? Like scorpions, not all sins are deadly. But every sin comes with a venom that poisons your soul, and every sin has a stinger.
The Bible talks about "the pleasures of sin for a season" (Hebrews 11:25), and it also warns how "sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death" (James 1:15). So why would anyone in their right mind want to play around with something that gives birth to death?
The odds would actually be better for you to climb into a glass box with thousands of scorpions. Because with scorpions you may get out without a scratch. But, if you play with sin, it's a sure thing ...
... you're going to get stung!
© 2014. Barry L. Cameron
Barry L. Cameron has been the Senior Pastor of Crossroads since 1992 when the church was averaging 188 in morning worship. Pastor Cameron and his wife, Janis, have three children and two grandsons. He’s the author of the bestseller: The ABCs of Financial Freedom, Contagious Generosity, and The Financial Freedom Workbook. The Cameron family has been completely debt free since November 2001.