The Arabs have a fable about The Miller and the
Camel, which illustrates very well the importance of minding Proverbs 1:10. The fable says, that one day in winter the miller was sleeping in his house when he was awakened by a noise. On looking up he saw a camel who had thrust his nose through the window of the room.
‘It’s very cold out here,’ said the camel; ‘please let me just put my nose into your room to get a little warmed’ ‘Very Well,’ said the miller. After a while the camel asked leave to put his neck in, and then he begged to have his forefeet in the room and so he kept on, by little and little, until at last he crowded in his whole body.
Then he began to walk about the and knock
things over, and do just as he pleased. The miller soon found him so rude and troublesome that the room was not large enough for them both. He began to complain to the camel of the trouble he was giving him, and told him to go out. ‘ If you don’t like the room you can leave it whenever you choose’, said the camel ; ‘ as for myself, I am very comfortable, and intend to stay where I am.’
This is just the way it is with sin. It comes knocking at our hearts, and begs for entrance a little way. As the old proverb says, ‘if you give it an inch, it will take an ell’ It goes on increasing its power, step by step, until it becomes master in the soul. It would have been easy enough for the miller to have kept the camel out when be had only his nose in the window ; but after he
got his whole body into the room it was hard work to get him out. So when sin or sinners entice us, we should not consent. We should guard against the first beginning of it. Don’t let its nose get in at the window, and then its body will never get into the room.
The Bible tells us to flee from the appearance of evil. Let us resolve to do this; and above all, let us pray for the help of the Holy Spirit, that by His grace we may be able to ‘keep our hearts with all diligence,’ and guard against the entrance of anything that may, as one of our Collects says, ‘assault or hurt the soul.’ If sinners entice thee, consent thou not.’
– Richard Newton