Disney and Walden Media's The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (www.narnia.com) currently reigns as America's favorite Christmas film. Seated in the sleigh of the beautiful White Witch, impish Edmund Pevensie betrays his siblings and the good creatures of Narnia for the pleasures of Turkish Delight. Just what is Turkish Delight? Cooking encyclopedias define it as a sticky, soft candy, flavored with fruit or floral essences and covered with powdered sugar. It is the exotic cousin of an American gumdrop. The candy is very popular in the United Kingdom. During World War II, sugar was in short supply and endless amounts of Turkish Delight would prove quite tempting for an English child. Munching away in the sleigh of the White Witch, Edmund agreed.
C.S. Lewis, the English author of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, used Turkish Delight as a metaphor for sin and temptation. Edmund strikes up a conversation with the beautiful White Witch and falls because of his greed. The sweetness of the candy hypnotizes him and promises of greatness seduce him. He abandons his honor. Lewis wrote, "Each piece was sweet and light to the very center and Edmund had never tasted anything more delicious." Temptation is sweet. Since Adam and Eve ate the fruit, the enemy knows our appetites lead us into sin. The Word of God warns, "For the lips of an adulteress drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil; but in the end she is bitter as gall, sharp as a double-edged sword" (Proverbs 5:3-4). The charming White Witch promised Edmund rooms full of Turkish delight. She vowed to make him King of Narnia. However, he found himself locked in a dungeon with only a dry crust of bread to eat.
We are daily tempted to obey our appetites. We abandon self-control and gorge ourselves on the abundant food God provides. Our gluttonous eyes consume countless images of violence and godless sexuality labeled innocently as entertainment. The biblical challenge to love one another is reserved for a small circle of family and friends. We ignore the still quiet voice of the Holy Spirit and bow before our pride, selfishness, and self-satisfaction. Serving ourselves is sweet at first--like Turkish Delight. Yet, gourmets inform us the candy becomes hard and tasteless as it ages. How like sin! C.S. Lewis tells us that Aslan redeems Edmund. After receiving counsel from his new king, a courageous and selfless Edmund is born. The Lion of Judah, Jesus Christ, redeems us. He counsels us in His Word, "My son, pay attention to my wisdom, listen well to my words of insight, that you may maintain discretion and your lips may preserve knowledge" (Proverbs 5:1-2). His execution frees us from the deceptive sweetness of sin and temptation. Will we give in to temptation, or will we refuse to taste Turkish Delight?