“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. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.”
Fishermen use worms to attract fish. It’s not at all about the worm! The real deal from the fisherman’s standpoint is the hook beneath the worm. The role that worms play is to entice the fish. Not many hours later, the fisherman enjoys a savory meal. I am sure that none of you have ever seen, or heard of a mouse looking for a mousetrap. What entices the mouse is the cheese. The cheese is set on the trap, and its “lust” for the cheese, deceives the mouse, making it unable to recognize the snare. An interesting point to note is the genuineness behind the object of attraction used, so as to lure or entice the prey, and thus create the opportunity for its ultimate destruction.
This is the exact picture that James is trying to portray in the minds of his readers by using the word “entice.” The bible is replete with examples of men like Adam, the patriarchs, Noah, Moses, Samson, David, Solomon, and many, many more. Men, just like us, who were enticed by “objects” of attraction.
ALL, and I mean, ALL of them had their shares of successes and failures during such enticements. Joseph when enticed by Potiphar’s wife day by day, responded by running away from her (Genesis 39:10). While it did not take too much for David to be tempted and pursue the woman he noticed naked in the pool outside the terrace (2 Samuel 11). We don’t need to talk about Solomon. Moses succumbed to righteous anger. Samson fell prey to pride. Peter also fell prey to the same. Paul fought with Barnabas over John Mark, because of his egotistic zeal for God’s work, to the extent of rejecting Mark, as though he was doing God a favor. It was this religious zeal that led him to murder an untold number of Christians before he was confronted by the Master on the Road to Damascus. Somehow he succumbed to the same temptation even in the case of Mark.
But as Paul matured in Christian walk, he became convinced of the truth that it was none other than the faithfulness of God that kept him, both away from, and during temptation. He clearly states, “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 (1 Corinthians 10:13).” This is only because we have a High Priest who sympathizes with our weaknesses, who Himself was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin (Hebrews 4:15). Therefore, my beloved friends, the only way to resist the devil is by submitting to God, and he will flee from you (James 4:7). Take courage, He is able to, and will aid us when we are tempted (Hebrews 2:18).”
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