A Subtle Slide

Judges 3:5-6 (ESV)
“So the people of Israel lived among the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. And their daughters they took to themselves for wives, and their own daughters they gave to their sons, and they served their gods.”

The importance of the verses above displays the rebellion against God by Israel. The Israelites had been given explicit instructions not to inter-marry with other nations (Exodus 34:15-17; Deuteronomy 7:1-4), not because of racial purity restrictions, but because of the potential to fall prey to worshipping false gods that will easily lead to other immoral practices. Just as foretold by God, Israel quickly became absorbed in pagan worship and all of the immoral practices that went with it.

While we may look at this and decry how ignorant the nation of Israel was for doing this, but can we really say we're that much different? We are commanded to share the Gospel to a lost world (Matthew 28:18-20), but at the same time, we are not to become enamored with the world in which they live (Romans 12:2; James 4:4). We must be careful not to become entangled through our friendliness into practices that compromise our morals; yet we must be friendly to those who are unbelievers if we are to fulfill the Great Commission.

We, too, should not be selective about our morality as Israel displayed time and again. Paul similarly warns the Corinthians about falling back into their old ways of sexual immorality (and other behaviors), for doing so reflects a life not earnestly transformed by accepting Christ (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). If we have not yet put away our old sinful behaviors yet profess to be Christians, we too will not inherit the kingdom of God. This goes for those who believe that they will repent "someday in the future" and be okay with God. It just doesn't work that way. God can certainly discern between a sorrow that is pure and one that is simply trying to escape judgment.

Additionally, what we are willing to ignore or condone reflects on our character as well. If we are still partying with those who are drinking heavily or doing other similar behaviors, we are in effect condoning such practices. This does not reflect a life set apart for His purposes. "I never knew you; depart from Me you workers of lawlessness!"

Revelation 9:20-21 speaks of men who, despite being beset with plagues, were so hard-hearted that they refused to repent and turn from their immoral lifestyles. The slippery slope of depravity allowed them to become so mired in evil, that the sound of Christ knocking on the door of their hearts was no longer audible. The path of immorality is always the same: temptation entertained leads to sin, which becomes a habit the flesh enjoys, and ultimately will lead to death and separation from God for all eternity (James 1:15).

What needs to be mentioned in closing, is how our own pride is involved in our immoral behavior. We have a tendency to believe we are in control at all times, and temptation will only remain that—temptation. And that is okay, because temptation in of itself is not evil. It’s when we give in to temptation that gives birth to immorality. Believing that we are impervious to such weakness is the first step in hardening of our hearts towards God.

The enemy is waiting to expose your weakness. Regardless of what it is—drunkenness, thievery, sexual immorality, or anything else—temptation is waiting to rule over you, but you must not let it (Genesis 4:7). By not allowing the power of Christ who dwells within you to reign in your body, you will fail. And the fall that begins will be both subtle and deadly.