“The Trap of Sin”

                What would you think of an individual who had been warned of the dangers of burning themselves on a stove, only out of curiosity, places their hand on the stove and severely burns themselves?  What would you think of that same individual if he touched the stove a second time after burning himself?  We might say that person was a few bricks shy of a load.  Well essentially that is exactly what the Israelites do.   During the days of the conquest of Joshua, God warned them to not intermarry with the nation in whose land they were taking.   The Israelites did not listen to the command of God, causing the introduction of idolatry into their culture. The idolatry continued so much, that it was one of the main reasons Israel was sent into captivity in the first place.  Now, as they have returned home to begin the long process of the rebuild, they have once again fell into the same trap of intermarrying among the pagan nations.  In Ezra 9, we see Ezra praying for God to forgive them of committing the same sin that got them sent off in the first place.  In this prayer we see regret, shame and contrition, from not just Ezra, but many of the people who were involved in the sin.  We could say that they were just like that person who touched the stove.  However, we must be careful of how critical we are over the Israelites.  How many times have we committed a sin, asked for forgiveness of that sin and then only a short time later commit the same sin again.  Sin is an easy trap to fall into.  We must be careful to not allow ourselves to continue to fall into the trap, but to ask God for guidance and strength to fight off our worldly urges to commit the same sin, over and over again.
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