The ancient Arabs had a saying: “Beware the camel’s nose” which means that if we let one small undesirable situation occur, then there would soon be a worsening to a disastrous predicament. The context is that if you let a camel get his nose into the tent, the whole body would soon follow. In America, we have a similar saying in that we let someone get “a foot in the door.”
In addition to many applications, these proverbs can well warn us of the danger of letting Satan into our lives. Like the bulky, smelly camel or the persistent, annoying salesman, Satan can work himself into our lives, and if we give him the opportunity, he will lead us down a slippery slope. Consider these examples from Scripture.
• Eve (Gen. 3:1-6) – Eve allowed herself to doubt the word of God. From there the downhill slide was very rapid. For then she looked at the forbidden fruit, took it, ate it, and finally gave it to her husband. She allowed just the tip of the nose of doubt into her mind, and before she knew it, Satan had ruined her whole life.
• Achan (Josh. 7:1-26) – The people of Israel were forbidden to take any spoils of war. But Achan was tempted. In his confession he states that he saw, coveted, took, and finally hid the treasures. Notice how Satan got his foot in the door and kept forcing his way deeper and deeper into Achan’s greedy nature.
• David (2 Sam. 11:1-27) – King David looked at a woman bathing, lusted after her, had an affair with her, tried to hide the sin, then conspired to murder her husband. Note the slippery slope of sin and disaster that David fell into after taking a few seemingly small steps of following Satan’s temptation.
Christian, let us ever be wary of Satan’s temptations and realize that we can quickly be lead astray if we give him the opportunity. Satan is a greedy creature; if we give him an inch, he will take a mile.
“…do not give the devil an opportunity…so that no advantage would be taken of us by Satan, for we are not ignorant of his schemes” (Eph 4:27; 2 Cor. 2:11 NASB).
Broadway church of Christ