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Gone fishing

By Phillip Hines

When we were on a recent trip to Alaska, our tour guide told a fascinating story. 

He had been in the wilds of the state doing some amateur photography. There was a lake nearby, and the salmon were running. He spotted an eagle circling over the water, and having seen this scenario on several occasions, he knew what was about to happen.  

The eagle came closer to the water and then made his move. As he approached the water, his talons were opened wide. They sank deep into the body of the unfortunate salmon.  

The eagle began to flap his mighty wings to bring both himself and his prey out of the water. Surprisingly, those majestic wings could not lift the salmon out of the water. The fish was too heavy!  

Having sunk his talons so deeply into the salmon, the eagle was also unable to release his catch. 

The guide watched for several minutes as the eagle exhausted itself trying to bring the fish out of the water. The struggle included the two rolling under the water several times and then resurfacing.  

Suddenly, the eagle vanished completely beneath the water. The salmon had taken the fatigued eagle to the bottom of the lake to drown.

As the guide told the story, I thought of the devil and temptation. James 1:13-15 says, “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.”  

The Greek word for “enticed” refers to the fishing process. This is the way the devil works.  

He tempts us by dropping the right kinds of bait before us. You can rest assured, the devil knows what bait to use to attract each and everyone of us.  

For the eagle, it is a big salmon. For you, it could be drugs, alcohol, pornography, material possessions or even another person.  

Notice that James said, “When desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.”  

In other words, if you grab the bait, you will end up hooked and fried!  

There is a word for those who hang around the bait to long. The word is “victim.”