THE ALLUREMENT OF THE FORBIDDEN
By George D. Thompson
“By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; CHOOSING rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season” (Hebrews 11:24,25).
CHOOSING . . . CHOOSING! Inwardly you are a composite of desires, good and bad. Each of us is! Endeavoring to subdue the bad and pursue the good is a battle fought in every human heart. The waters on which we make the voyage of life are littered with the shipwrecks of many that have fallen victims to that battle, while the true victors are in the minority.
Penal institutions throughout the land are packed beyond designed capacity, filled with individuals who did not resist the urge to take that which they desired, though doing so involved transgressing the law. What did it matter that the car was not theirs; or that the law, God’s and man’s, says: “Thou shalt not steal”? They wanted to “live it up”; “take a joy ride!” So steal they did. Now, behind bars, the penalty is being paid.
When two avenues are open to man, it is his prerogative, through the power of choice which God has given him, to choose the avenue he will take. It is inevitable, however, that he shall bear the consequences of his choice.
There are youthful lusts (2 Timothy 2:22) that war against the soul, and they hold great enticement. Sin does offer its pleasures, but those pleasures are only for a season! Walking with God has its afflictions, true, yet these, too, are only for a season, while the pleasures of God are eternal. “In thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures evermore.” We are admonished “. . . come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.” I am sure that each of you now reading these lines has a strong desire to be received by the Lord when He calls His church out of this world to ever’ be with Him. Yet, on the very brink of the coming of Jesus Christ, there are people failing God. Why?
This human weakness of yielding to wrong desires is an inherent trait bequeathed the human family by our first parents.
Free access was granted to eat of every tree in the garden, with ‘the exception of one. Only one forbidden and the others to be enjoyed, yet it was to the forbidden that Eve was allured. In the momentary enticement of that tree, forgotten was the decree: “. . . In the day that thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die.”
The tree was “pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired,” thus the temporary allurement obscured the eternal values: the right to the tree of life. “She took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.” In reaching for one they lost their access to all. If you yield to the allurement you must also suffer its consequences. Sin’s pleasures are for a season, but that season always ends—then the harvest.
From the first Adam, man inherited his proneness to fall to seducement.
Generations later this tendency to err displays itself, as the glitter of gold and the tinkling of the silver beckon in attraction. Then, too, the garment was so dazzling compared to the dullness of his own robe. After all, had Achan not literally worn his old cloak for years now? It was time to shed it!
“This garment (which by now he had picked up and was fondling) is ‘sharp.’ Dressed in this robe and with that gold and silver I could really ‘do the town’ when we are settled there in Canaan.”
“And ye, in any wise keep yourselves from the accursed thing, lest ye make yourselves accursed, when ye take of the accursed thing, and make the camp of Israel a curse, and trouble it. But all the silver, and gold . . . are consecrated unto the Lord: they shall come into the treasury of the Lord.” It was unnerving the way those words of Joshua, God’s man, -were now ringing in his heart and convicting him. These, then, were forbidden items that were alluring him.
“Maybe I could just slip the garment on for size, to see how I would look. Then I’ll destroy it and place the gold and Silver in t h e Lord’s treasury.” He proceeded to go just one little step farther in his dabbling.
“Hm-m-m Feel the texture of that cloth. Man, is it soft! It’s not from some local shop. This has been imported. From Babylon, no less! The fit is good too; it’s perfect. Say, this is really nice. I look good in it, it ‘does some thing for me.’ Surely there couldn’t be any harm in my keeping one little garment and this gold en wedge. The silver would never be missed either. Besides, who will ever know it? I’ll do it! I’ll hide them in my tent.” The sin was committed.
“I saw . . . then I coveted…and took them . .“ were words that Achan used in relating the story to Joshua when his sin was found out. “I looked and they al lured me. Forbidden, I knew, but I took them anyway.”
“And all Israel stoned him with stones.” “For the wages of sin is death.” Here, then, God’s Word pictures another life shipwrecked by the allurement of the forbidden.
At times the enemy makes you feel that your garment of salvation is old and completely out of date. Some dazzle and glitter of the world beckons you to lay aside your robe of righteousness and don the Babylonish raiment. The Devil will see to it that there is a cloak that will “just fit you” if you linger in his territory. Its appeal will be most alluring, of that you may be assured. “Flee was the admonition regarding youthful lusts. Run f o r your life, lest they snare you.
The church dare not import Babylonish raiment in an attempt to make itself more attractive. It will not “do anything” for us other than seduce us from t h e ways of God.
Be patient. Our change is coming. And what a glorious change it shall be. Not merely the out ward garb but our whole being, “for the trumpet shall sound and we shall be changed.” “We shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.” We are looking for the return of Christ “…who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body.” This will be pleasure, not for a season, but eternally.
True, from the first Adam we inherited our proneness to fall to seducement. However, the second Adam came—the Lord from heaven. Through Him we have been granted power to become the Sons of God. By virtue of the new birth we have become “par- takers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”
Young people, make a deliberate decision to walk with God. Be more than conquerors through Him that loved us. Look not at the glitter of things that are seen• but look on the things that are not seen. Make up your mind to serve the Lord, and your vision of “him who is invisible” will transcend the temporary allurement of the forbidden.
The Christian Newspaper – Nov – Dec 2001
Editor Bud Tingle
PO Box 747
Madisonville, KY 42431