Saturday, December 2, 2017

Sin doesn't only affect me.

Just reading in Joshua 7 the story of Israel going to defeat Ai.   After Jericho they were feeling pretty strong and confident but they lost.   Chapter 7 explains why.  Achan, a soldier, took a cloak, some silver coins and a bar of gold for himself when God said all these things were devoted to God.  This was in Jericho 

As a result when they went to Ai they were defeated.  Moreover, 36  innocent Israelite men died in that battle.  We also have the idea that they were not innocent but deserved, somehow to die.  Not true.   Our choices affect others,  and they sometimes others suffer needless pain because we wanted what we wanted and grabbed it.

Achan didn't  come forward and confess but had to be discovered by revelation of God to Joshua  But, when it was revealed to be him,  he, his sons and daughters, even his livestock and all his possession were taken and they were stoned and possessions burned.    This was a HARD lesson for the whole congregation but it was a demonstration to the Israelite nation that SIN had to be dealt with.

In today's culture it is easy to be shocked and horrified and a bit on the edge of thinking God was not really fair.   We tend to think it  was not that big a deal but it was in fact.   It was a direct disobedience to God's command.  A command given for the spiritual protect on the people of Israel.   

We tend to even see sin as  not too bad a sin, a middle to needs to be punished bad and so bad we even think of it as evil.  We tend judge our own sins according to how bad we think they are.  I mean, a lie doesn't really hurt anyone. 

This story really hit me.   I can remember in my early 20's when I was knowingly sinning.  I justified myself with  "I'm not hurting anyone but me and I am willing to pay the price."

I am terrified today when I think of that time.  Number 1, the LORD mercifully did not kill me on the spot for my rebellion,  and number 2, though those actions have had some hard repercussions on my life God has amazingly forgiven me and loves me. In fact part of His love is discipline to lead me to understand the power and strength of sin over my life and my need to repent and humbly seeks to walk in the ways of God.  Also, the part I never considered was that my sin did affect others who were innocent.

I will maybe never know in this life who I hurt and damaged but it is a part of my life story and though forgiven I suspect that one day, before the judgement seat of God, I will be shown so I will fully understand it was not considered unimportant to God, and how it hurt others.  I know I have been forgiven, and I don't know how it will play out in eternity but another thing that I see is that my sin was part of dung heap of sin  poured out on our Sinless LORD Jesus Christ  on the cross.  He suffered for my sin.

Also, I believe that though God forgives us he allows things in our life to bring correction and discipline to draw us into a clearer knowledge of his righteousness.  That correction is discipline and it hurts but if we will pay attention and humble ourselves and seek God's ways in our lives it will assuredly be to our good.  
Some of the roads in our lives