Preaching the Gospel, Preparing a People

Letter From Dan Dowd - April 29, 2022

Letter From Dan Dowd

April 29, 2022

Sabbath Thought - The Pull of Sin

How close can we get to sin before we get caught in its pull?  The next Holy Day laying out God's plan of salvation for mankind is the Feast of Pentecost.  It is unique in that we count 50 days beginning with the Sunday during the Days of Unleavened Bread until the observance of Pentecost (we are currently on day 13).  The observance of the Feast of Pentecost is built upon the lesson from the Days of Unleavened Bread of coming out of sin.

Any of us who have been part of God' Church for any length of time surely know how hard it is to come out of sin.  Sometimes coming out of sin is not accomplished except through years of practicing God's way of life.  Sometimes it takes time to even see the sin, and sometimes it means learning the physical distance needed to stay away from whatever might lead us to sin.  50 days seems a reasonable time to reflect on the lessons of sin we were to grasp during the Days of Unleavened Bread, and then with God's Holy Spirit to grow in our spiritual life avoiding sin.

The power of a magnet is a great analogy of the pull of sin.  Sin has many interesting analogies with magnets: the power to attract; the increased power the closer you get to it; and how to avoid attraction or how to diminish it's pull.  How close can we get to sin before we get caught in its' pull?  The simple answer to this question is that if we stay far enough away from sin we won't know its' pull.  Being human, however, we are enticed by things that lead us to sin (James 1:13-14).  This is first and foremost why sin so captivates us.

One of the interesting things about a magnet is the nature of its' physics.  The pull of a magnet is inversely proportional to the square of the distance.  That is, the closer the magnet is to the ferrous metal, the proportionally stronger its' attraction is.  The further away, the proportionally weaker its pull becomes.  For example, the magnetic pull at one inch is 100 times stronger than it is at 10 inches, and 1,000 times stronger than at 31.6 inches.  Separated with enough distance the pull of a magnet is zero.  Close enough to the right material the pull of a magnet can overcome the pull of gravity.

The closer we get to sin the harder it becomes to prevent being caught in its' pull.  We see this wrong attraction in one particularly powerful story in the Bible.  King David got so close to sin in his desire for Bathsheba that he allowed himself to be caught in sin's pull.  He started out with the sin of lust, added to that adultery, lying (bearing false witness) to one of his most trusted soldiers, and eventually murder.  By getting close to sin, it was able to pull him closer and closer.  The curious thing about the attraction of sin, is that it is usually abundantly clear to us when a sin is attracting someone else, but more often than not we are blind to a sin that attracts us.  David paid a huge price for the sin he knowing and willingly committed.

Sin eventually finds us out (Numbers 32:23).  Sin often finds us out because we are attracted to that sin to begin with - like King David.  What are you wrongly attracted to - what am I wrongly attracted to?  We reap what we sow (Galatians 6:6-7), but are to learn to hide ourselves from sin (Proverbs 22:3) - to distance ourselves from sin to the point that it has no pull or attraction for us.

Pentecost, in part, pictures getting far enough away from sin that we don't even feel its pull.  God wants us to remember the Passover and Days of Unleavened Bread so that we realize how powerless we are to remove sin from influencing us if we don't have Christ living in us.

Pentecost pictures the opportunity for us to get far away from sin with the help of God's Holy Spirit.  Let's make the most of that in our lives.  The question is not: "how close can I be to sin without getting caught in its pull?"  The question is: "how far away can I get from sin so that I don't even feel its pull?"

I wish you a spiritually profitable Sabbath,

Dan Dowd

29 April, 2022