Waldo & Professor Steve

Letting Go of Temptation
How to Trap a Monkey

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Lesson Aim:
To teach that Satan often traps us by putting something we want in front of us.  Until we voluntarily let go, we will continue to be held captive. 

Appropriate Scriptures:
Any verses that teach about resisting sin & temptation, such as:
I Corinthians 10:12-13
Ephesians 6:11-13
I Timothy 6:9-12
James 1:12-15
James 4:7-8
I Peter 5:8-9

Supplies You Will Need:
(1) One whole coconut
(2) Glass beads or a shiny bracelet
(3) Short length of chain (approx. 12-18 in.)
(4) Small piece of wire or a hook
(5) Tools (drill, knife, screwdriver, wood file or sandpaper)
(6) Piece of cardboard, foamboard, or plywood
(7) A Temptation (dollar bill, candy bar, keys, etc.)

Advance Set-Up:
OK kids, it's time for arts & crafts!  You are going to make a monkey trap.  You will have fun, enjoy some fresh coconut, & have something cool to hang in your office when you are completely done.  Now let's begin . . .

Start by drilling a hole in the side of the coconut.  Use a skinny bit at first & progressively use wider ones.  You want to end up with a hole about 2 inches across.  Drill up to that size with your 2 inch bit, or use a knife & enlarge the hole you made with your puny skinny bit.  Finish the hole by smoothing it with your file or with sandpaper.

As you are opening up the coconut, you will discover two things: coconut & coconut milk.  Pour out the milk as the hole you are drilling gets big enough to do so (Gilligan & the Skipper say drink it!).  Use your knife & screwdriver (be careful) to scrape out as much coconut as you can (Mary Ann & Ginger say eat it!).  Be careful that you don't damage the hole you drilled.  Take the hollow & scraped shell & put it aside to dry out (the Professor says give it a couple days!).

Finish the monkey trap by drilling a small hole in the end of the coconut & attaching the piece of wire, which you made into a loop, or screw a metal hook from the hardware store into the end.  In either case, you are making it possible to now attach the chain to the coconut securely.  Put the glass beads or shiny bracelet into the monkey trap & put it all away.

To help your group understand how the trap works, take the piece of board (approx. 12 x 12 inches) & cut a hole in the center.  The hole should be just big enough for you to put your hand through.  You have now constructed a working model of the monkey trap.

What You Are Going to Do:
Take the monkey trap, working model of how the trap works (the board), & the temptation of your choice (see #7 above) & place them up front where you will be speaking.  You are going to demonstrate how a monkey can be caught, trapped by its' own greed.  In the process, you are going to teach about how the Devil can do the same with us.

What You Are Going to Say:
You are going to talk to your group about monkeys.  They are fast & very difficult to catch.  You can't just walk up to one & grab it - it will run away.  You can, however, catch one with a monkey trap.  Show your group the trap, complete with the beads or bracelet.  You catch the monkey by chaining the trap securely to a nearby tree & waiting.  The monkey will find the coconut & want what is inside.  He puts his hand inside the trap & grabs the trinket, thereby making a fist.  His hand is now too big to pull out.  Because he refuses to let go of his new possession, he remains chained to the tree.  He is then easily caught!

It's the same for us.  Bring out the working model & put your hand through the hole.  Grab onto the "temptation" on the other side.   Until you let go, you are caught!

Key Ideas You Want to Get Across:

  It is not sin that has a hold on us.  It is we who have a hold on sin.   As long as we hold on to that which God hates, we will be held captive.  Jesus died for us to give us the power to "resist the Devil".  He can help us to let go & to be free.

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Professor Steve's Amazing World of Science
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