My good friend Gilbert is a trapper in the wilderness of Maine. Several years ago, as he was checking his trap line, he found the carcass of a dead white-tail deer. He realized that the coyotes would soon move in on the lifeless deer. He decided to place a number of snares around the carcass. Usually, when coyotes discover a dead animal, they will begin to circle it, gradually moving closer and closer. A snare is made of a piece of strong wire formed into a loop. When the animal steps through the loop, its body catches the loop causing it to tighten. The animal either suffocates or is held captive until the trapper comes. When Gilbert returned to check his traps, he was amazed to find that he had captured seven coyotes. As the coyotes were drawn in to what they thought would be an easy meal, they were captured. The Bible says in James 1:14-15, “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.” Temptation results when a person wants something so badly that he doesn’t realize that the thing he desires could actually harm him. Lust, as the Bible and the dictionary define it, is a strong desire. The coyotes desired something that wasn’t actually bad in itself, but the situation was designed to trick them into getting caught in the trap. To be enticed means to be tricked. The coyotes were tricked into thinking that they were safe and would not be harmed. It was not until the wire noose tightened around them that they realized what had really happened. The devil loves to use temptation in the same way. He tricks us by taking something we desire and making it look all right. A boy may be tempted to steal his favorite kind of candy bar. The candy bar is not a bad thing. However, since it does not belong to him, it is stealing to take it without paying for it. And that’s a sin. A girl may be tempted to cheat on a spelling test in order to get a good grade. A good grade is not a bad thing, but when the answer is copied from another person, it is dishonest, and a sin. It is possible for a good thing to be used to tempt us to do a bad thing. Joseph was a young man when he was taken from his home and sold as a slave in Egypt. In the house of Potiphar, he became highly trusted because of the way he served his master. Potiphar’s wife was a wicked woman who wanted Joseph to commit sin with her by being immoral. Joseph could easily have said “Yes,” thinking he would have fun. However, he knew that immorality was a sin against God. He first said “No.” He then chose not to be near her in any way. Finally, when she grabbed his coat, he left it in her hand and ran away. In this temptation, Joseph made the right choice, because he knew it would be wrong to sin against God.
When a hunter sets a trap, he is really trying to deceive the animal into thinking that everything is OK. If the animal believes that, he will usually get caught. The other day, I was very excited because it was the first day of trapping season. I loaded my pack with traps and headed for the creek. It wasn’t long before I found the underwater entrance to a muskrat’s den. I was very careful as I set the trap at the entrance of the den to make sure that the muskrat could not get in or out without getting captured. I was happily surprised the next morning to find a muskrat in the trap that I had set the day before. The way I had set the trap, I had made everything look normal at the muskrat’s home. Little did he realize that there was a deadly trap set for him.
The devil uses his own traps of temptation in our lives. We must be very alert and always looking for a possible trap which the devil may have set for us. Don’t get tricked into a trap which could hurt your life forever.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tim Palmer is the 14 year-old son of Tom (and Patty) Palmer, and the grandson of Jack Palmer, both itinerant preachers engaged in revival and family ministries. Their articles often appear in this magazine.
With permission to publish by: Sam Hadley, Grace & Truth, 210 Chestnut St., Danville, IL., USA. Website: www.gtpress.org