Catching Monkeys
by Bill Brinkworth

Many hunters use their skill with bow and arrow, blowguns, and spears to kill monkeys. Missionary Arnold Skelton told of an interesting way that natives use in catching the primates. Some clever hunters have figured out a way that monkeys can trap themselves.

The hunter would scour the jungles looking for the right-sized, wild gourd. It would have to be of a large-size and fairly big around the middle.

After the gourd had dried for several weeks, he would then cut a two-inch hole in the side and a smaller one in the top, where a rope could be put through and the gourd hung from a tree. He would then take the insides out of the gourd, leaving an empty hard-shelled trap that he would use to catch a monkey dinner.

After finding the right place in the jungle, where there were plenty of monkeys, he would hang his trap from a tree. In the center of the gourd-trap, he would place several handfuls of peanuts and then leave his monkey-catcher.

In a short time, the curious creatures would scamper over to see what the man had left behind. A quick glance and a long sniff would reveal to the monkeys that one of their favorite foods was conveniently close by - and easy to get!

One monkey would venture first. He would look the gourd over well. The gourd was a common sight to the creature and would not rouse many questions, and inside he would discover wonderful, plump peanuts. What more could a monkey ask for?

Into the gourd would venture one monkey's hand, grasp one or two peanuts, and then slowly, he would ease out his hand. Easy pickings! He got a handful and they were so good!

Perhaps another monkey saw how easily it was done. He too wanted his share. In would go his little hand, and not wanting to miss out on this free deal ("Why, some of the other monkeys may go next and not leave any for him!"), he would grab as many as he could get. His hand was now too big to get back out of the hole. When he tried to pull back his hand, it would not come out through the gourd's hole. His hand was stuck.

He would pull and pull but to no avail. He was caught. There seemed to be no way out. His own selfishness had bound him to the trap. It would never dawn on him to let go of the peanuts. There he would be captured until the hunter would return and easily kill the monkey.

So many people are in a similar trap. It may not be a lust for peanuts that has them bound, but it may be cigarettes, lying, stealing, drugs, drinking or some other sin that has them caught.

At first the sin looked harmless. "Everyone was doing it and it seemed to be okay." Finally, sin's noose tightened, and there was no longer any fun or enjoyment in the sin.

It has you caught. There seems no escape from the terrible wage (and there always is at least one) of the sin. There is. Let go before it's too late!

"Oh, it's easy to say, but harder to do," many claim the excuse.

There is only one way to escape the consequences of sin and that's to leave it. No person can do it for you. No pill will take sin's grip away. No good work will erase it out. You have to break the bind. The sin has to be stopped. The longer it continues, the stronger its grip.

"Well, I can't stop this sin." Well, maybe YOU can't. There is, however, another way to get the victory.

This way is to call upon the Lord to help you. He is able to help you get the victory over this world and its traps and snares.

You must trust in Him to show you the way out. Here are some Bible verses about letting go and letting God help you get the victory over the devices of this world:

"I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." Philippians 4:13

"He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint." Isaiah 40:29-31

"Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness." Isaiah 41:10

"Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong." II Corinthians 12:10

The only way you will know His will and way is if you read His book. His Word is exactly that. It is a book with the preserved plans of God to help you through life. You will never know His way if you don't read it. You will never get the victory unless you obey it.

Yes, little monkey there is a way out of your predicament. Let go and let your Heavenly Father help release you from sin's bondage.

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