Jared Moore has written previously on this site of the need for moral self-control. If I understand him correctly, he rails against (for example) those who would blame women and their attire for causing men to think lusty thoughts. Mr. Moore argues that personal purity means controlling our actions, urges, thoughts, and desires regardless of the images we see or opportunities we have.
I think he is absolutely correct.
Personal purity is not saying, “Hey, I’m working hard over here to be good, so could you take your clothes or your movies or your books and go elsewhere? I really don’t need the temptation.” Too often we make our ability to achieve purity dependent on the willingness of others to behave properly, when in fact, personal purity is exactly that: personal.
However, I would argue that there is an addendum, or an excursis or something Latin that we can insert here.
Exodus 33:2-3 2 I will send an angel to lead you, and I will force these people out of the land: the Canaanites, Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites.3 Go up to a fertile land. But I will not go with you, because I might destroy you on the way, since you are such a stubborn people.”
Seems to me, even God avoids situations.
I think we can hardly argue that God is avoiding the temptation to sin. After all, His perfection does not allow the entrance of sin, so to a certain degree our temptations are different than what He is talking about here. Even so, this passage would seem to imply that sometimes the wisest thing to do is to walk away. Simple as that.
Of course, if we continue reading this chapter we will see that God ultimately goes along with the people as they enter their land. He fights for them and guides them. Even so, these verses would seem to suggest that the path of wisdom just might include walking away from things.
Perhaps some temptations just shouldn’t be faced.