The Influence of Backsliding


2 Chronicles 33:1-2 “Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to reign, and he reigned fifty and five years in Jerusalem: But did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, like unto the abominations of the heathen, whom the LORD had cast out before the children of Israel.”

One may ask, how does the son of Hezekiah, who was one of the best kings of Judah, end up being so evil in the sight of the LORD? The answer to this question is that Manasseh was born during the time that Hezekiah backslid. When Hezekiah became proud because of who he thought he was, it was in that moment of his backsliding ways that he influenced his son to do wrong. Manasseh’s life was the result of a dad backsliding. Yes, Manasseh had his own choice, and yes, Hezekiah got right and saw his dad do right again, but the power of influence in that moment away from God influenced a son to live a Godless life. Had Hezekiah never backslidden, Manasseh would have never learned the wrong ways to live.

This incident in Manasseh’s life reminds me of another individual in the Scriptures. Abraham had a short moment in his life that he backslid. It was just for a short period of time that Abraham backslid and went down to the land of Egypt. It was during that time while he was in Egypt that his nephew, Lot, was exposed to the world and never experienced the pain that the world brings. Though Abraham got right, Lot never got the taste of the world out of his mouth. It was one moment of backsliding that influenced Lot to live such an evil life away from God. We will never know what Lot could have become had Abraham not backslidden. There are a couple of lessons that we can learn from these two stories.

First, it is hard to remove the taste of the world from someone who has never experienced the pain that the world’s lifestyle causes. One minute away from the LORD causes innocence to be exposed to the world’s lifestyle. Many innocent people have been exposed to the world lifestyle because one person backslid. There are many children who have grown up in a good home who were exposed to the world by a backsliding parent. Sadly, those children never get the taste of the world out of their life. Many parents live a life of heartache because they spent a moment away from God. That moment of backsliding put the taste of the world in their child's mouth, which caused them to live the filthy, worldly lifestyle to their detriment. Sadly, these children have never tasted the pain that sin causes. Had someone not exposed that child to the world, they would have never had the taste of the world placed in their mouth.

Second, one minute away from the LORD is one minute too long. You never know who you influence when you backslide; therefore, never waste one minute away from the LORD because one minute away from the LORD influences others to live a life away from God. One minute in sin is one minute not serving the LORD. One minute in sin is one minute influencing someone else to do wrong. One minute in sin is one minute not living a life that could have been blessed by living a righteous life.

My friend, never consider one minute away from the LORD. If you love those around you, and especially your children, never expose them to the taste of the world by backsliding for one minute. You will never expose your children to the heartache of the world if you don’t backslide for a short moment. Stay close to God, and you will never be responsible for exposing anyone to the taste of the world.

Dr. Allen Domelle

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