A Lesson From Monkeys

Some time back I read about certain tribes in South America who earn their living by trapping animals. They then sell the animals world-wide for research purposes.

One of the things that fascinated me in all this was the method used for trapping a monkey. I figured with modern technology they would use some sophisticated device with automatic locks and the like, but not so.


To trap a monkey the tribe members drill a hole in a coconut, hollow out the insides and fasten the coconut to a chain. They then take this apparatus deep into the jungle to find a band of wild monkeys. Then, as the curious animals watch from the tree tops, members of the tribe chain the coconut to the base of a tree and make a great show of putting a piece of candy or other bait into the hollowed fruit.


After the people leave, it is usually the largest monkey who will descend from the tree first and go for the goods inside the coconut. It is here that things get even more interesting. The hole is deliberately drilled a size of which the monkey can barely fit his hand. Thus, when he clinches the food in his hand, he cannot get his fist out of the hole. And, believe it or not, he will not turn loose of the bait until either the natives return or he starves to death!


This practice seems rather bizarre until you consider that sin works essentially the same way. It has the appeal to us that the bait has to the monkey (James 1:14, 15). And once we latch on to it, it keeps us in bondage until we let go. Note these words of Solomon: “His own iniquities entrap the wicked man, and he is caught in the cords of his sin” (Proverbs 5:22).


However, each time in Scripture that God commands us to “repent,” He is telling us to “let go” of sin and turn our lives over to Him (Hebrews 12:1-2). When we do so, He sets us free (John 8:36).


We need to heed the adage we often hear which encourages us to “Let go and let God.” If you have yet to do so, isn’t it time that you let go of sin and find your freedom in Christ? (cf. Romans 6:17).