DayBreaks for 07/30/13 – The Danger of the Backward Glance
The old Sunday school story is a familiar one: Lot and his wife and daughters leave the city of Sodom and get out just in time before judgment falls on the cities in the form of fire and brimstone. It was a close call…one could almost imagine the smell of smoke permeating their clothes.
Before leaving, they were warned to not look back. But as you know, Lot’s wife just couldn’t resist a backwards glance…and was punished for her disobedience. Was her infraction worse than what Lot would do with his daughters? No. So why did she receive such a harsh judgment? I don’t know…one should never second-guess a Sovereign God and I’m sure He had His reasons that some day He can explain to us (if we’re still interested in such things once we see Him.)
I suspect, however, that it was an object lesson for us that relates to Jesus’ words in Luke 9:62, telling us that having once started on a path, looking back is just plain foolish.
Why is it that we have such a longing to look back? I’m speaking here of the desire to “reminisce” about our previous life before becoming a Christian – to the “pleasures of sin” as the Good Book calls them. I have a hunch it’s because there is still a lot of the “old man” left in us. It’s because we haven’t fully and completely died to the desires of the flesh. It’s because we’ve not seen or experienced at any level approaching the ultimate level of the joys and delights of heaven that await those who don’t turn back.
Jesus knows we are prone to backward glances. He also knows that backward glances are deadly because our memories of past sins sing siren songs to us (Satan makes sure of that!) He knows that the agonies of hell are real and joys of heaven are equally real and that no earthly pleasure can compare to what heaven holds nor earthly pain to that of the pit.
Are you being tempted to cast a backwards glance over your shoulder? Listen to Jesus and keep looking ahead!
PRAYER: Our pasts not only haunt us, Lord, but they call to us to tempt us to return to our old ways! Strengthen us and keep us from turning our heads back with longing! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright 2013 by Galen C. Dalrymple.
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