Tempted to Turn Back to Sin (Jeremiah 34:11) - Radical

Tempted to Turn Back to Sin (Jeremiah 34:11)

“But afterward they turned around and took back the male and female slaves they had set free and brought them into subjection as slaves.”
– Jeremiah 34:11

So the picture here in Jeremiah is God’s people had been guilty of enslaving others and God had convicted them of the sin and they had set these slaves free but then… So this verse tells us, “Afterward they turned around and took back the male and female slaves they had set free and brought them into subjection as slaves again.”

Jeremiah 34:11 Shows Us the Temptation of Returning to Sin

And so we see this picture that I’m guessing is familiar in each of our lives. How prone are we to experience conviction of sin, turn from it and start to walk in obedience, but then to turn right around and go back to that sin? We are so prone to wander, so prone to run back to sin once we’ve confessed and repented of it.

I encourage you to think right now, examine your heart, how have you repented of sin in the past, and by the past could be a while ago or could be from yesterday? How have you turned from sin, confessed sin, and then how are you today? Tempted, prone to turn right back to that sin. God, we pray that You’d help us not to do this.

Jeremiah 34:11 Gives Us a Picture of Fickle Repentance

The picture here in Jeremiah 34:11, their turning from sin, seems so fickle. They were so foolish to go right back to it, and God, we know we are prone to be fickle and foolish like this, so God, we pray that You’d help us to flee sin in all of its forms. God, we pray that today You would help us not to turn back to sin. You would save us from ourselves all day long. You would help us to deny ourselves today, just as You call us to do, Jesus, daily to turn from our sin, to turn from sin and ourselves and to follow You in righteousness and holiness. God, we pray for that in our lives.

Help us to live in ways that are good for us and good for others. God, the effect of their sin on male and female slaves, on these men and women made in Your image. God, we don’t realize the effects of our sin on others, the depth of our sin, and it’s disastrous effect on others’ lives.

Open Our Eyes to the Seriousness of Sin

God, we pray that You’d open our eyes to the seriousness of sin in our lives, the seriousness of sin as it affects others’ lives, and help us to live in holiness and righteousness. Jesus, You alone can do this in our lives, can forgive us of our sin, can give us power by Your Spirit to turn from it, not to return to it, to pursue righteousness, so help us by Your grace and Your power in us today, to run from all sin, particularly sin that we have confessed and repented of.

We pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen. We pray this in Jesus’ name according to this picture in Jeremiah 34:11. Amen.

David Platt serves as a pastor in metro Washington, D.C. He is the founder of Radical.

David received his Ph.D. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and is the author of Don’t Hold Back, Radical, Follow MeCounter CultureSomething Needs to ChangeBefore You Vote, as well as the multiple volumes of the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series.

Along with his wife and children, he lives in the Washington, D.C. metro area.


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