Posts Tagged ‘Consequences

07
May
18

No Condemnation

At the end of Romans 7, the apostle Paul says that he doesn’t understand why he continues to sin even though he hates it. He expresses his frustration with the sin in his life and wonders who can save him. He gives thanks to God through the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul then writes:

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. – Romans 8:1-2 (NIV)

When God forgives your sins through Jesus and justifies you by grace through faith in Him, you are set free from the condemnation and consequences of sin. Eternal death is no longer in your future. Eternal life is your destiny. There is NO condemnation for those who belong to Christ. Any talk of condemnation is a lie from the enemy. Who will you choose to believe today? The One who paid the penalty for your sin or the one who tries to keep you enslaved to it? Trust Jesus for He has set you free.
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22
Nov
13

The Consequences Of Our Sin

In Judges 3, we see a pattern emerge for the rest of the book.
  • Israel abandons God and worships the gods of Canaan
  • God sends a nation to punish His people for their disobedience
  • Israel cries out to God for deliverance
  • God raises up a judge to lead the people and rescue them from their oppressors
  • The land enjoys peace for a number of years

This happens over and over and over again.  In the first part of this chapter, we see how all of this came about.  We read a few days ago about how the Israelites did not conquer all of the peoples living in the Promised Land.  They remained in the land and the Israelites lived among them.  Look at verses 4-6 

4 They were left to test the Israelites to see whether they would obey the Lord’s commands, which he had given their ancestors through Moses.
5 The Israelites lived among the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. 6 They took their daughters in marriage and gave their own daughters to their sons, and served their gods. – Judges 3:4-6 (NIV)

Verse 6 is the key.  The reason God told His people to completely destroy the people living in the Promised Land was because God knew that His people would not remain faithful to Him.  People follow their hearts.  They intermarried with the Canaanites and soon began to worship the gods of their wives.  If they had just done what God had told them to do in the first place, they would not have these problems.
It seems to me that many of the problems we face in our lives are the direct consequences of our failure to obey God completely.  We disobey God and He does not rescue us from the natural consequences of our actions and we wonder what we did to deserve what is happening to us!  We didn’t do what the Lord told us to do!  If someone gets drunk and drives and gets pulled over and they are arrested, they should not wonder, “Why is God punishing me?”  You brought it on yourself!  God said that drunkenness is a sin.  Why did you do it?!?  If someone steals from their employer and gets fired, they should not wonder, “What did I do to deserve this?”  It’s obvious!  You’re a thief!  Don’t blame God for not rescuing you from the consequences of your sin!  Stop sinning!  If God has been merciful and you haven’t been caught yet, stop sinning!  If you have been caught and are facing the consequences of your actions, don’t blame God.  You are the one who sinned!  Repent of your sin, confess it and trust God to forgive you and then start over.  God is faithful and He will forgive you and give you a fresh start.  That’s the beauty of His grace.

Judges 3

New International Version (NIV)

3 These are the nations the Lord left to test all those Israelites who had not experienced any of the wars in Canaan 2 (he did this only to teach warfare to the descendants of the Israelites who had not had previous battle experience): 3 the five rulers of the Philistines, all the Canaanites, the Sidonians, and the Hivites living in the Lebanon mountains from Mount Baal Hermon to Lebo Hamath. 4 They were left to test the Israelites to see whether they would obey the Lord’s commands, which he had given their ancestors through Moses.

5 The Israelites lived among the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. 6 They took their daughters in marriage and gave their own daughters to their sons, and served their gods.

Othniel

7 The Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord; they forgot the Lord their God and served the Baals and the Asherahs. 8 The anger of the Lord burned against Israel so that he sold them into the hands of Cushan-Rishathaim king of Aram Naharaim, to whom the Israelites were subject for eight years. 9 But when they cried out to the Lord, he raised up for them a deliverer, Othniel son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother, who saved them. 10 The Spirit of the Lord came on him, so that he became Israel’s judge and went to war. The Lord gave Cushan-Rishathaim king of Aram into the hands of Othniel, who overpowered him. 11 So the land had peace for forty years, until Othniel son of Kenaz died.

Ehud

12 Again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord, and because they did this evil the Lord gave Eglon king of Moab power over Israel. 13 Getting the Ammonites and Amalekitesto join him, Eglon came and attacked Israel, and they took possession of the City of Palms. 14 The Israelites were subject to Eglon king of Moab for eighteen years.

15 Again the Israelites cried out to the Lord, and he gave them a deliverer—Ehud, a left-handed man, the son of Gera the Benjamite. The Israelites sent him with tribute to Eglon king of Moab. 16 Now Ehud had made a double-edged sword about a cubit long, which he strapped to his right thigh under his clothing. 17 He presented the tribute to Eglon king of Moab, who was a very fat man. 18 After Ehud had presented the tribute, he sent on their way those who had carried it. 19 But on reaching the stone images near Gilgal he himself went back to Eglon and said, “Your Majesty, I have a secret message for you.”

The king said to his attendants, “Leave us!” And they all left.

20 Ehud then approached him while he was sitting alone in the upper room of his palace and said, “I have a message from God for you.” As the king rose from his seat, 21 Ehud reached with his left hand, drew the sword from his right thigh and plunged it into the king’s belly. 22 Even the handle sank in after the blade, and his bowels discharged. Ehud did not pull the sword out, and the fat closed in over it. 23 Then Ehud went out to the porch; he shut the doors of the upper room behind him and locked them.

24 After he had gone, the servants came and found the doors of the upper room locked. They said, “He must be relieving himself in the inner room of the palace.” 25 They waited to the point of embarrassment, but when he did not open the doors of the room, they took a key and unlocked them. There they saw their lord fallen to the floor, dead.

26 While they waited, Ehud got away. He passed by the stone images and escaped to Seirah. 27 When he arrived there, he blew a trumpet in the hill country of Ephraim, and the Israelites went down with him from the hills, with him leading them.

28 “Follow me,” he ordered, “for the Lord has given Moab, your enemy, into your hands.” So they followed him down and took possession of the fords of the Jordan that led to Moab; they allowed no one to cross over. 29 At that time they struck down about ten thousand Moabites, all vigorous and strong; not one escaped. 30 That day Moab was made subject to Israel, and the land had peace for eighty years.

Shamgar

31 After Ehud came Shamgar son of Anath, who struck down six hundred Philistines with an oxgoad. He too saved Israel.

10
Jul
13

The Consequences of Sin

God was very clear to the Israelites about the plunder of Jericho.  When the walls came down and the Israelites conquered the city, they were not to take any of the plunder for themselves.

keep away from the devoted things, so that you will not bring about your own destruction by taking any of them. Otherwise you will make the camp of Israel liable to destruction and bring trouble on it.  All the silver and gold and the articles of bronze and iron are sacred to the Lord and must go into his treasury. – Joshua 6:18-19 (NIV)

The temptation proved too much for one Israelite named Achan.  He took about 5 pounds of silver and 1 and 1/4 pounds of gold.  That’s not very much, right?  I mean, it’s just a little bit of silver and an even smaller amount of gold.  He saw it and he coveted it and he took it.  What’s the big deal?
The big deal is that God hates sin.  All sin.  Let’s look at Achan’s sins:
  • Disobedience – God was clear – everything in Jericho was to be dedicated to the Lord
  • He coveted – this is one of the 10 Commandments
  • He stole from the Lord – these things were not his to take or have
  • He was deceitful – he hid these items in his tent so as not to be discovered
How were the sins of Achan uncovered?  The community of faith suffered because of one man’s sins.  Israel was soundly defeated in a battle against the people of Ai.  36 men were killed and the army was routed.  Joshua wanted to know why God had led them in victory one day and let them be defeated soon after.  God told him about the sin.
The people of Israel presented themselves to Joshua and Achan came forward.

Joshua said to Achan, “My son, give glory to the Lord, the God of Israel, and honor him. Tell me what you have done; do not hide it from me.” – Joshua 7:19 (NIV)

Achan admitted his sin and suffered the consequences for it.

Then Joshua, together with all Israel, took Achan son of Zerah, the silver, the robe, the gold bar, his sons and daughters, his cattle, donkeys and sheep, his tent and all that he had, to the Valley of Achor. 25 Joshua said, “Why have you brought this trouble on us? The Lord will bring trouble on you today.”  Then all Israel stoned him, and after they had stoned the rest, they burned them. – Joshua 7:24-25 (NIV)

I think that there are some important lessons for us today in this story.
  • God hates all sin and disobedience.  He is holy and cannot stand sin.
  • Hidden sin hurts the community of faith.  Nothing can be hidden from God.
  • Sin has consequences.  Sin can be forgiven, but we must repent of our sin and turn to God for forgiveness.
  • God has expectations for His people and we are to obey Him

My friends, God has given us His Word to show us how to have a relationship with Him.  One of the most important aspects of living in a loving relationship with God is that we obey Him.  Jesus said:

If you love me, keep my commands. – John 14:15 (NIV)

Let us seek to obey our God and Father and the Lord Jesus Christ completely each day.

Joshua 7

New International Version (NIV)

Achan’s Sin

7 But the Israelites were unfaithful in regard to the devoted things; Achan son of Karmi, the son of Zimri, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took some of them. So the Lord’s anger burned against Israel.

2 Now Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is near Beth Aven to the east of Bethel, and told them, “Go up and spy out the region.” So the men went up and spied out Ai.

3 When they returned to Joshua, they said, “Not all the army will have to go up against Ai. Send two or three thousand men to take it and do not weary the whole army, for only a few people live there.” 4 So about three thousand went up; but they were routed by the men of Ai, 5 who killed about thirty-six of them. They chased the Israelites from the city gate as far as the stone quarries and struck them down on the slopes. At this the hearts of the people melted in fear and became like water.

6 Then Joshua tore his clothes and fell facedown to the ground before the ark of the Lord, remaining there till evening.  The elders of Israel did the same, and sprinkled dust on their heads. 7 And Joshua said, “Alas, Sovereign Lord, why did you ever bring this people across the Jordan to deliver us into the hands of the Amorites to destroy us? If only we had been content to stay on the other side of the Jordan! 8 Pardon your servant, Lord. What can I say, now that Israel has been routed by its enemies? 9 The Canaanites and the other people of the country will hear about this and they will surround us and wipe out our name from the earth. What then will you do for your own great name?”

10 The Lord said to Joshua, “Stand up! What are you doing down on your face? 11 Israel has sinned; they have violated my covenant, which I commanded them to keep. They have taken some of the devoted things; they have stolen, they have lied, they have put them with their own possessions. 12 That is why the Israelites cannot stand against their enemies; they turn their backs and run because they have been made liable to destruction. I will not be with you anymore unless you destroy whatever among you is devoted to destruction.

13 “Go, consecrate the people. Tell them, ‘Consecrate yourselves in preparation for tomorrow; for this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: There are devoted things among you, Israel. You cannot stand against your enemies until you remove them.

14 “‘In the morning, present yourselves tribe by tribe. The tribe the Lord chooses shall come forward clan by clan; the clan the Lord chooses shall come forward family by family; and the family the Lord chooses shall come forward man by man. 15 Whoever is caught with the devoted things shall be destroyed by fire, along with all that belongs to him. He has violated the covenant of the Lord and has done an outrageous thing in Israel!’”

16 Early the next morning Joshua had Israel come forward by tribes, and Judah was chosen. 17 The clans of Judah came forward, and the Zerahites were chosen. He had the clan of the Zerahites come forward by families, and Zimri was chosen. 18 Joshua had his family come forward man by man, and Achan son of Karmi, the son of Zimri, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, was chosen.

19 Then Joshua said to Achan, “My son, give glory to the Lord, the God of Israel, and honor him. Tell me what you have done; do not hide it from me.”

20 Achan replied, “It is true! I have sinned against the Lord, the God of Israel. This is what I have done: 21 When I saw in the plunder a beautiful robe from Babylonia, two hundred shekels of silver and a bar of gold weighing fifty shekels, I coveted them and took them. They are hidden in the ground inside my tent, with the silver underneath.”

22 So Joshua sent messengers, and they ran to the tent, and there it was, hidden in his tent, with the silver underneath. 23 They took the things from the tent, brought them to Joshua and all the Israelites and spread them out before the Lord.

24 Then Joshua, together with all Israel, took Achan son of Zerah, the silver, the robe, the gold bar, his sons and daughters, his cattle, donkeys and sheep, his tent and all that he had, to the Valley of Achor. 25 Joshua said, “Why have you brought this trouble on us? The Lord will bring trouble on you today.”

Then all Israel stoned him, and after they had stoned the rest, they burned them. 26 Over Achan they heaped up a large pile of rocks, which remains to this day. Then the Lord turned from his fierce anger. Therefore that place has been called the Valley of Achor ever since.

26
Jun
12

The God of Compassion and Mercy

Psalm 6

For the choir director: A psalm of David, to be accompanied by an eight-stringed instrument.

O Lord, don’t rebuke me in your anger
or discipline me in your rage.
Have compassion on me, Lord, for I am weak.
Heal me, Lord, for my bones are in agony.
I am sick at heart.
How long, O Lord, until you restore me?

Return, O Lord, and rescue me.
Save me because of your unfailing love.
For the dead do not remember you.
Who can praise you from the grave?

I am worn out from sobbing.
All night I flood my bed with weeping,
drenching it with my tears.
My vision is blurred by grief;
my eyes are worn out because of all my enemies.

Go away, all you who do evil,
for the Lord has heard my weeping.
The Lord has heard my plea;
the Lord will answer my prayer.
10 May all my enemies be disgraced and terrified.
May they suddenly turn back in shame. – Psalm 6 (NLT)

In Psalm 6, David is suffering the consequences of his sin.  Take a look at his description of what he is going through.
  • I am weak
  • My bones are in agony
  • I am sick at heart
  • Worn out from sobbing
  • His eyes are swollen from his tears of fear

The consequences of our sins are more than just spiritual.  Sin can take a toll on us physically as well.  The book of James, in chapter 5, seems to tie physical illness to unconfessed sin.  May we learn to be like David and to weep over our sin.  May we cry out to God for compassion and mercy to wash away our sins.  Through Jesus, our Savior, this is possible!  God loved the world so much that He sent His Son, Jesus, to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins.  He took all of our sins upon Himself and when He died, so did our sin.  What an amazing thought!  That Jesus would choose to die rather than letting us die a hopeless death in sin.  How great the love of the Father must be!  My prayer for you today is that God will envelop you in His love.  That He will surround you with His compassion.  That He will remind you of His mercy.  May we weep over our sin, knowing that God sees our tears and hears our weeping and that He will answer and forgive.




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