Psalm 106:35-37 says: “But they mingled with the nations and learned their practices, and served their idols, which became a snare to them. They even sacrificed their sons and daughters to the demons.” Much of Psalm 106 describes the sin of the people of Israel in the wilderness. Verses 34-39 detail how they compromised themselves by taking on the evil practices of the nations around them. But :35-37 especially describe HOW this sad state came into being. It didn’t happen all at once; there was a certain and sure progression, deeper and deeper into compromise:
First it says they “mingled” with the nations. One might have asserted that “just mingling” with them wasn’t going to hurt anything — but it did; it led to much more.
Because next, while they were “mingling” with the nations, it says they “learned their practices.” Mixing with the unbelievers was NOT harmless; they learned their rebellious and sinful practices, and it would eventually lead to their total spiritual demise.
From there, it was a short jump to the next step: they began to “serve” the idols of these peoples. Horrifically, this “serving” led to the practice of what should have been the unthinkable: “they even sacrificed their sons and daughters to the demons.”
This passage is more than just a “history lesson.” It demonstrates the dangers of compromise in your associations. It is a series of very short steps to go from “just being with” ungodly people, to “learning” what they do, to “serving” and adopting their very practices into your own life. For Israel this led to the ghastly sacrifice of their own children to Molech. For us there is no telling where such actions will lead. But the lesson is clear: the first step of compromise will take you further into sin than you ever expected.