If a camel suddenly showed-up inour tent or living room, it would immediately and forcefully be driven out, before it destroyed ourhome. Suppose, however, our own camel simply stuck his nose into the open tent flap ... supposeit was our very best camel and it was very cold outside? Would we tolerate just the nose insidethe tent? If the camel inched forward, at what point would we consider him "in the tent" anddrive the camel back outside?
That is the nature of sin's entry into lives. If it suddenly showed-up as full-blown evil, wewould immediately drive it out, before it destroyed our lives. Instead, private sin creeps inunopposed one inch at a time. One day, it is suddenly there, in its full destructive force. If today's 'television 'camel' suddenly showed-up in our living rooms 10-years ago, few would have toleratedthe lewd, obscene filth that clogs today's airways. A frightening thought is that the camel is stillprobably only about a third of the way into the tent, and is quite comfortable (and profitable)there.
Most can readily identify one or more areas of weakness in their lives... lust, greed, pride,self- promotion, alcohol or drugs, abusiveness, or any excess that we seem unable to control. Thefact that those areas are readily identifiable, is like an announcement that the camel's nose isalready in the tent. The question is now, how or when will we stop the camel from getting furtherinside?
The Bible and life confirm that all outward sin, has its roots in the soil of the heart. Sinenters as it did with Eve, "she saw that it was pleasing to the eye and desirable, and also good toeat, so she ate some and gave some to others to eat" (Gen 2:6). We sin against God when werebel against his righteousness and entertain sin in our minds and hearts. We sin against man,when the sin in our hearts, works its way out through our tongue and other members.
David, "a man after God's own heart" (I Sam 13:14), sinned against man and God whenhe committed adultry with Bathsheba, and then deceived and ultimately killed her husband, Uriahthe Hittite (2 Sam 11:4-18). David's sin and rebellion started with a camel's nose in the tent. Instead of leading his army to war, he stayed home in the palace. Then, one night, he sawBathsheba bathing, and saw that she was beautiful. He inquired about her --- and finally, sent forher and had relations with her, even though she was not his wife. The 'sin camel' poked its nosein David's eye, because he was not where he should have been. It entered his mind, because hewas idle, and not about the Lord's business. The 'camel' moved into the living room of David'sheart when he saw that she was beautiful, and inquired about her. Sin surfaced in David's lifewhen he sent for Bathsheba, and bloomed fully when he commited adultery with her. Later, itwrapped itself around his tongue and eyes and throat, blinding him to all truth, when he deceivedUriah and had him killed.
If one truly seeks to avoid sin and evil, one will not entertain it their private thoughts andheart. Like Joseph, when approached by Potiphar's wife, we must drop everything and run orpush the 'sin camel' back outside, when he first appears (Gen 39:1-13). The moment sinfulthoughts enter the mind, the camel's nose is in the tent. From then on, it is very difficult todetermine if the camel is in or out of the tent. Satan took root in Judas' heart when he made thedecision to betray Christ (John 13:27). The physical action of betraying Christ, was only anoutgrowth of the sin that was already in his heart.
Sin is not overcome by human power. Thus, it was necessary for Christ to die on ourbehalf. The decision to serve and obey Christ, regardless of circumstances, closes the tent flapof our minds and hearts before the 'sin camel' ever has a chance to stick his nose inside.