TO CHEW ON: "Why has this people slidden back,
Jerusalem in a perpetual backsliding?
They hold fast to deceit,
They refuse to return." Jeremiah 8:5
The prophet sounds distraught about Israeli's continuous backsliding. His question seems more like an exclamation of exasperation than one he expects someone to answer. However, it's a good question for us to ask—with the hope of some answers.
Why do people backslide?
My Thompson Chain Bible has an item called "Backsliding: causes which tend to produce." Here are some of the reasons with their references for backsliding, collected under that heading:
- Absence of spiritual leaders - Exodus 32:1,8; Numbers 14:4.
- Evil Association - 1 Kings 11:4
- Success - 2 Chronicles 25:2,14
- Shallowness - Luke 8:13
- A spiritually empty life - Luke 11:24-26
- Lack of spiritual insight - John 6:63-66
- Love of the world - 2 Timothy 4:10
I find this list soberingly relevant. For couldn't we too could be in danger of backsliding for any one of these reasons?
PRAYER: Dear God, shine Your light on my heart and expose it to me. Please alert me to my own tendencies to backslide. Amen.
The Holy Bible, New King James Version Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. - Used with permission.