Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
What is the cause of "backsliding"? From time immemorial it has been the problem of God's true people. Jeremiah says they have been "slidden back, ... in a perpetual backsliding" (Jer. 8:5). God says through Hosea, "My people are bent on backsliding from Me" (Hos. 11:7).
Their backsliding was apparent as early as the time of the Judges, just after the time of Moses--the story is up and down continually, mostly down, right on through the major and minor prophets of the Old Testament. Finally in 586 B.C. the kingdom of Judah (God's true people) suffered massive destruction. But even in Babylon and ever afterward, the "backsliding" went on until they rejected and murdered the Son of God.
God continually has invited His people to "return" to Him (Jer. 3:12, 14), and He has promised to "heal your backslidings" (3:22). The word does not occur in the New Testament, but the word "lukewarm" is there, just as bad, maybe worse, describing God's true people in these last days (Rev. 3:17).
Why is it that so often after we have had a wonderful series of "revival meetings" and our hearts have been stirred, that after a few weeks we find we have begun backsliding again? The world has crept in; we have gotten too busy to keep our promise to give the Lord quality time in Bible study and prayer and witnessing, and again we lose that plateau experience. Is it possible that there is a fundamental reason why this problem has gone on for thousands of years?
The problem began at Mount Sinai, from the time of Moses. From that truly "mountain-top" experience in meeting the Lord and hearing Him speak His holy law with His own voice with fire and thunder and earthquakes, in only a few weeks the people had backslidden to worshipping idols (Ex. 32:1-6). The problem: they had fastened themselves under the Old Covenant (19:8). We need the New!
--Robert J. Wieland
From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: November 14, 2004.
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