1 Corinthians 10:13: “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”

February 17th, 2019 by Pastor Ed in devotional

To be tempted means to be enticed or attracted to do something that is morally or ethically wrong. It is important to note that although temptation is a fact of life for all who live on this fallen planet, God does not tempt us. As James said, “Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am tempted by God’; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone” (1:13). Even God the Son, because He became man, had to deal with the same struggles we all do. This reminds us that to be tempted is not sin, only giving in to temptation is sin.

There is a strong emphasis in this section, which we should find very encouraging, of God’s faithfulness to us in the face of temptation. When temptation comes, God always provides an escape route right next to it to help us escape or endure. This is the promise that allows us to bear the temptation. We must look for and take God’s escape door from temptation’s pressure. If we ignore it and take the bait, what happens? The same thing that happens to the ring-tailed monkeys in Africa.

Men who trap animals in Africa for zoos in America say that the ring-tailed monkey is one of the hardest animals to catch:

For the Zulus of that continent, however, it’s simple. They’ve been catching this agile little animal with ease for years. The method the Zulus use is based on knowledge of the animal. Their trap is nothing more than a melon growing on a vine. The seeds of this melon are a favorite of the monkey. Knowing this, the Zulus simply cut a hole in the melon, just large enough for the monkey to insert his hand to reach the seeds inside. The monkey will stick his hand in, grab as many seeds as he can, then start to withdraw it. This he cannot do. His fist is now larger than the hole. The monkey will pull and tug, screech and fight the melon for hours. But he can’t get free of the trap unless he gives up the seeds, which he refuses to do. Meanwhile, the Zulus sneak up and nab him.1

The trap works because the monkey is focused on obtaining the food inside and doesn’t understand that the price for this morsel will be its own freedom,

“LORD, please keep us from temptation this day we ask in Jesus’ name.”

1Ivan Huff, Cause or Effect: Are Tragedies God-Caused or an Effect of the World? (Oklahoma: Tate Publishing, 2009), p.89–90.