“The Israelites sinned against the Lord again, and He let the Philistines rule them for forty years.”
Judges 13: 1, Good News Bible
“Living in The Midst of the Profane and the Pure.”
“To get nowhere, follow the crowd.”
How do I feel standing up for truth when others don’t agree with me?
Is there a time in my life when I have “gone along” to “get along?”
How did it make me feel to go along with the crowd even though I knew what I was doing was not right?
“It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”
“I think the reward for conformity is that everyone likes you except yourself.”
Rita Mae Brown
When I was a young girl about twelve, our family moved from the rural beauty and quiet life of a small town to the hustle-and-bustle of Los Angeles, California. I consider this move to have had the most dramatic effect on everyone in our family. My Father’s job, which was a promotion, kept him on the road a great deal of time. Because living costs were higher, my Mother had to get a job outside the home and so she was gone a lot more.
Looking back on the changes this situation brought into our family life, I think, in retrospect, my parents might have chosen never to make the move. But they did. And during this time, where the fast-paced commercial life of city living surrounded all of us, you couldn’t help but wonder how much of the profane and pure, the holy and the heartless got mixed together or worse yet, difficult to define.
If we look at life during the time of the Judges, the blending of the profane and pure reached a point where even God’s chosen leaders, who were called to set the example for the Israelites, seemed unable to distinguish what was profane living from purity of life. I’m not going to be a “holier than thou” and call these Judges out, but I do think that having a myriad of wives in one town, and a pair of Canaanite harlots in another, would make one of these Judges draw the line somewhere. But we find, that even Gideon, didn’t seem to “get it!” Right wasn’t might. Conformity ruled the day.
And before we begin our upcoming study on the life of Samson and the women who influenced him, I think it wise, we take a magnifying glass and read the Biblical fine print that lets us in on the fact that at some point, God’s people had so allowed a mixing of good and evil, not only in their political and social society, but worse yet, in the way they chose to carry on their personal lives. They could no longer carry out God’s will or plan in their individual lives. As we note in Judges 13, for forty years before Samson was even conceived, the Israelites lived under the tyrannical rule of the Philistines who mocked God and demeaned His purpose for their lives.
What a tragedy, that by entangling our lives so intimately with what degrades, we soon find little or no place left for the uplifting or the holy.
In her beautiful story, chronicled in her book, Persuasion, the greatly loved British author, Jane Austen penned these words: “How quick come the reasons for approving what we like.”
From the first steps that led down a slippery slope, to the co-mingling of the profane and pure, God’s children soon found themselves in an avalanche of trouble called the Philistines where for forty years they had to endure the oppressive rule of an enemy who in the end brought them lower than they could ever have imagined. What a lesson for you and me when we allow the profane to become mixed with the pure in our own lives.
“Virtue is the music of the soul, the harmony of the passions; it is the order, the symmetry, the interior beauty of the mind; the source of the truest pleasures, the fountain of the sublimest and most perfect happiness.”
“Lord Jesus, our Saviour, let us now come to thee:
Our hearts are cold; Lord,
warm them with Thy selfless love.
Our hearts are sinful;
cleanse them with Thy precious blood.
Our hearts are weak;
Strengthen them with Thy divine presence.
Lord Jesus, our hearts are Thine;
Possess them always and only for Thyself.”
P.S. My book, When A Woman Meets Jesus, is now available wherever books are sold and on the internet at www.amazon.com, ChristianBook.com, or by calling toll-free, 1-800-Christian. You can also go to www.whenawomanmeetsjesus.com and purchase the book through Paypal.
If you would like to purchase When A Woman Meets Jesus at a 30%-50% quantity discount for your Women’s Ministry Program or for Bible Study Groups, please visit:hwww.direct2church.com or email direct2church@Bakerpublishinggroup.com.
For more from Dorothy, please visit transformationgarden.com.