Thursday, September 19, 2013

Why do people backslide?

ball & chain pulling a woman back
TODAY'S SPECIAL: Jeremiah 8:1-12

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.
Several times during their wilderness wanderings the Israelites wanted to go back to Egypt, either in their worship or literally. It happened when their leader Moses was either absent (spending time on Mt. Sinai with God) or rejected.

  • Evil Association - 1 Kings 11:4
Solomon backslid when his pagan wives turned his heart away from God to worship idols.

  • Success - 2 Chronicles 25:2,14
Amaziah obeyed God in many things and was successful  (he consolidated his kingdom and defeating the Edomites). His success may have caused him to let down his spiritual guard. For he then turned around to adopt Edomite idols.

  • Shallowness - Luke 8:13
In Jesus' story of the sower, some seed sprouted but because it fell on rocky soil and had no root, it perished under harsh conditions ("time of temptation").

  • A spiritually empty life - Luke 11:24-26
In Jesus' story of the man delivered from an evil spirit, the man was soon back in bondage because he left his spiritual house uninhabited.

  • Lack of spiritual insight - John 6:63-66
Many of Jesus' disciples left Him ("went back and walked with Him no more") when they didn't understand what He was about.

  • Love of the world - 2 Timothy 4:10
Paul's associate Demas left him simply for the love of "this present world."

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.
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1 comment:

  1. These "why" points make good prayer points, both for protection from backsliding and for intercession for those in that spot right now. Thank you, Violet.


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