The Devil's Snare
I once heard of an interesting method of capturing monkeys by African hunters. They would empty a large plant shell called a "calabash" and drill a hole in its side just large enough for a monkey's hand to squeeze through. They would then fill the shell with peanuts and tie it to a tree.
The monkey would be drawn by the smell of the peanuts and would plunge his hand into the calabash in order to take the peanuts. Of course, since the monkey would be holding the peanuts in his fist he could not then retrieve his hand from the shell through the small hole.
If only he would release his prize he could then slip his hand back through the hole and be free. In the end, his refusal to let go of the peanuts was what trapped him.
Satan uses the same method to trap Christians and non-Christians alike. He encourages them to acquire many things in the world. People think that these things will bring them happiness, joy, and security. Of course, as long as they hold tightly to these things they remain slaves to things that are material and temporal.
It is not surprising that in his epistle, John the Apostle says,
Do not love this world nor the thing it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you.
- I John 2:15
He also says in the same epistle,
And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever.
- I John 2:17
Don't forget what happens to monkeys when they hold on tight. Don't be fooled by the devil's snare.