God himself gave the first warning. Cain should have known better. I would imagine his parents told of their own linger too long experience. When God saw the anger and jealousy creeping in He said, "If you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it."
Instead, he gave in. He was swallowed up by his self-centerdness. He wouldn't be the last.
Israel grumbled and wandered til they died.
Samson also fell.
Judas didn't let himself live long enough to tell his story.
Solomon married into it (again and again and again).
Book after book warn of the extreme danger of dancing with temptation.
History books verify the risk.
Book after book encourage the pilgrim to embrace the good. Psalm 1, Genesis 4, Romans 12, and on and on it goes.
One of the joys of reading the Scripture multiple times throughout the day and drinking from it through various vessels is the stunning themes that explode from its pages despite the different authors, different millennia, and different subjects.
Romans 12:21 wraps it up well, "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."
Cain, Samson, Judas, Solomon, and many more let the evil overcome them.
How can I have a different outcome?
Certainly not in my own strength. Rather, I prayerfully continue to walk in His.
Today I walk with an extra dose of caution, remembering all those that fell and how I am no better than they.
Evil continues to hover. Sometimes I feel the breath of it threatening to overwhelm, the stench of it seeking to overpower, the claws of it fighting for a foothold. Yet, God has given me a way of escape, a promise always offered.
Instead of lingering, we march on surrounded by a great cloud of others who have done the same.
Choosing today to walk in defiance to the undeserving prince of this world and join ranks with Abel, Noah, Moses, Abraham, Daniel, Paul, Polycarp, Luther, Carey, and many more.
Are you with us?
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.