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When would someone realize that he had backslid?

q.gif (1639 bytes)    When would someone realize they have backslided?



a.gif (1659 bytes)   That varies, because we have a tendency to deceive ourselves when we sin. James 1:19-24 says, “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God. Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, DECEIVING YOUR OWN SELVES. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.”

When King Saul disobeyed the Word of the Lord by Samuel, he deceived himself, at first, into thinking that HE was obeying, but it was the PEOPLE that were disobeying. I Samuel 15:13-25 says, “And Samuel came to Saul: and Saul said unto him, Blessed be thou of the LORD: I HAVE PERFORMED THE COMMANDMENT OF THE LORD. And Samuel said, What meaneth then this bleating of the sheep in mine ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear? And Saul said, THEY HAVE BROUGHT them from the Amalekites: for THE PEOPLE SPARED THE BEST of the sheep and of the oxen, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God; and THE REST WE HAVE UTTERLY DESTROYED. Then Samuel said unto Saul, Stay, and I will tell thee what the LORD hath said to me this night. And he said unto him, Say on. And Samuel said, When thou wast little in thine own sight, wast thou not made the head of the tribes of Israel, and the LORD anointed thee king over Israel? And the LORD sent thee on a journey, and said, Go and utterly destroy the sinners the Amalekites, and fight against them until they be consumed. Wherefore then didst thou not obey the voice of the LORD, but didst fly upon the spoil, and didst evil in the sight of the LORD? And Saul said unto Samuel, YEA, I HAVE OBEYED the voice of the LORD, and have gone the way which the LORD sent me, and have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites. BUT THE PEOPLE TOOK OF THE SPOIL, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God in Gilgal. And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king. AND SAUL SAID UNTO SAMUEL, I HAVE SINNED: for I have transgressed the commandment of the LORD, and thy words: because I feared the people, and obeyed their voice. Now therefore, I pray thee, pardon my sin, and turn again with me, that I may worship the LORD.”

Did you notice how long Saul justified his own actions, and blamed the sin upon the people? King Saul was not ready to see his own sin, until he saw what it was going to cost him — the kingdom.

In the case of David sinning with Bathsheba, he also went on in his sin without repenting, until he was confronted with it. Then, at least he did not argue that he had not sinned, but immediately confessed. II Samuel 12:1-14 says, “And the LORD sent Nathan unto David. And he came unto him, and said unto him, There were two men in one city; the one rich, and the other poor. The rich man had exceeding many flocks and herds: But the poor man had nothing, save one little ewe lamb, which he had bought and nourished up: and it grew up together with him, and with his children; it did eat of his own meat, and drank of his own cup, and lay in his bosom, and was unto him as a daughter. And there came a traveller unto the rich man, and he spared to take of his own flock and of his own herd, to dress for the wayfaring man that was come unto him; but took the poor man's lamb, and dressed it for the man that was come to him. And David's anger was greatly kindled against the man; and he said to Nathan, As the LORD liveth, the man that hath done this thing shall surely die: And he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity. And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man. Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul; And I gave thee thy master's house, and thy master's wives into thy bosom, and gave thee the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that had been too little, I would moreover have given unto thee such and such things. Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of the LORD, to do evil in his sight? thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and hast taken his wife to be thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon. Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife. Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbour, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun. For thou didst it secretly: but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun. And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the LORD. And Nathan said unto David, The LORD also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die. Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die.”

So when do we realize that we have backslidden? Often times we deceive ourselves until our sin is pointed out to us. At that point, we either act like King Saul (still trying to deny that we have done wrong and blaming others), or King David (who when confronted immediately admitted his sin).

We would probably all agree that David’s actual sin (adultery and murder) was worse than Saul’s sin (not completely following orders). But the Scripture places TREMENDOUS EMPHASIS UPON OUR REACTION TO REBUKE OR CORRECTION.

KING SAUL IS LIKENED UNTO A WITCH. I Samuel 15:22,23 says, “And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For REBELLION IS AS THE SIN OF WITCHCRAFT, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.”

KING DAVID IS LIKENED UNTO A MAN AFTER GOD’S OWN HEART. Acts 13:21,22 says, “And afterward they desired a king: and God gave unto them Saul the son of Cis, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, by the space of forty years. And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them DAVID to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I HAVE FOUND DAVID the son of Jesse, A MAN AFTER MINE OWN HEART, which shall fulfil all my will.” David is not referred to in Scripture as “the adulterer,” or as “the murderer,” but as “...the sweet psalmist of Israel” (II Samuel 23:1).

We are all going to fail (backslide) in many ways throughout our lives. But how we will be remembered, for the most part, is how quick we are to repent, and to make things right, when we realize what we have done.

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