Saturday, April 12, 2014
Toying with Sin
"When you cross over the Jordan into the land of Canaan, then you shall . . . destroy all their figured stones, and destroy all their molten images and demolish all their high places. . . But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you, then it shall come about that those whom you let remain of them will become as pricks in your eyes and as thorns in your sides, and they will trouble you in the land in which you live. And as I plan to do to them, so I will do to you." (Numbers 33:51-55).
Anyone who knows the history of ancient Israel also knows God’s people didn’t take His warning seriously. And it cost them more than any of them would have wanted to pay.
Almost as soon as they crossed the Jordan into the Promised Land, the Israelites intermarried with the Canaanites and adopted their behavior until no one could tell the two groups apart. The nation God had called to be separate ended up practicing the same evils as those other nations, including murder, child-sacrifice, and a host of sexual perversions.
God’s patience is not without limits. After ignoring repeated warnings by His prophets to repent, He brought grievous and bloody devastation to His chosen people and scattered them into Assyrian and Babylonian bondage.
There remains a significant danger in toying with sin, in letting remain in our new ‘land’ of faith things we should aggressively drive out. Bad habits. Friends who lead us astray. Philosophies and ideas unsupportable by Scripture and historic Church teaching.
When we think we can compromise a little here and a little there, when we believe we can ignore God’s continued call to a holy lifestyle and not pay the consequences, we open ourselves to serious – and possibly mortal – danger.
God is the same today as He was yesterday. And He will remain the same tomorrow.