"Dangerous by Association"
August 4, 2015
(Jesus said) "Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." Matthew 26:41
A fellow like myself, living in Texas, generally gets to see armadillos two ways:
1. Lying alongside or on the road in a more-or-less pancaked position.
2. Stuffed and lying on their backs holding and, supposedly, drinking from a beer bottle.
Either way you look at them, stuffed or flattened, the armadillo is not the Lord's most beautiful bit of handiwork. On the other hand, the shy, nocturnal armadillo is not the kind of beastie, which brings terror to the dreams of little children.
Their seeming innocence does not mean you should pick up an armadillo, pet it, or give one to your children for a pet. That's because, while the armadillo itself may be peaceful enough, a high percentage of them carry the bacteria which gives people leprosy. That's right, armadillo bacteria can give you that illness which struck fear in the hearts of all who lived in Bible times.
Now, just so you understand, an armadillo may be safe, but the bacteria it brings with it, isn't.
As I read through Scripture, I see the same kind of thing happens in the lives of God's people. The Hebrews often found the Canaanite girls to be attractive. That's not a bad thing. The bad came when those women, now wives or girlfriends, introduced false gods into the home.
That's why God told His people to stay away from those girls; stay away from those false gods.
We might say the same thing today. Think about it. The Internet isn't a bad thing; television isn't a bad thing; a secular education isn't a bad thing, but many of these seemingly innocuous gifts can bring with them some pretty nasty, corrupting stuff.
This is why the Lord Jesus told us to pray and ask the Heavenly Father to keep us from being seduced by temptations. It is also why the Savior thought it important to include a petition in the Lord's Prayer wherein God's people ask for the wisdom and strength to avoid evil temptations.
As Jesus said, "Truly, the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak."
Now I don't know what is your temptation of choice. Everybody has their own particular sin, which tugs on them. I do know, in honor to the Lord who has sent His Son to earn forgiveness and win salvation for us, the wise Christian will give their temptations and -- especially the seemingly innocent ones -- a wide berth.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, Heavenly Father, the world and Satan have made it their business to tailor make a temptation, which appeals to me. In my weakness, protect me, guide me, and deliver me, so my life may glorify the risen Savior, who shed His blood so I might be saved. This I ask in Jesus' Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries