(Editor's Note: This article was written by Mike Armstrong, a student in Kenny Boles' Greek II class some years ago.)
The skilled trappers of last century's wild frontier knew where and how to place and bait their traps in order to trap animals. In the same way, fishermen of today know how to bait and place their hooks in order to get the largest and most fish. Satan possesses this same knowledge concerning us and uses it for our destruction.
The words used in James 1:14 for “carried away” and “enticed” are exelko (ex EL ko) anddeleazo (del eh AHDZ 0). These are early Greek words used as hunting terms. Exelko was used of luring a beast from a safe place into a place full of traps. It is the same as enticing a high-flying duck with a duck call into the range of waiting hunters. Deleazo was a word used of putting something on a hook as bait. That is what we do when we fish, as we cover over a hook in order to lure an unsuspecting fish.
The use of these words in James reveals much to us concerning Satan's tactics and the temptations in our lives:
1. Satan uses what is appealing to us. Just as the fish is attracted to the worm, Satan uses what we like to hook us.
2. Although sin may seem attractive, there is really a hook inside. Although there may not be an evident danger, it is always designed for destructive purposes.
3. Satan cannot force us to sin. He just cleverly places the trap where we are weakest and when we are most susceptible.
4. The choice is up to us. The fish can either swim on or bite the hook. The duck can keep on flying or come down within firing range. We can indulge in the temptation and pay the price (and every sin has a price) or we can overcome it. There is always a way out, 1 Cor 0:13.
So the next time you are tempted to sin, picture Satan with fishing pole in hand, enticing and luring you to bite his deadly bait. And then swim on.