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The wages of unrighteousness

Sep 14, 2011, 2:28 PM | Article By: Galandou Gorre-Ndiaye

The Bible teaches that the wages of sin is death. In other words sin is a killer; there is nothing sin can offer us except death. When Adam and Eve sinned they died, not physically but spiritually. When the spirit that indwells us ceases to be receptive to the Spirit of God, it is because separation has occurred. When God blocks the channel of communication with us, it is a sure sign that we have sinned. We lose touch with the Creator and though we may still be on our feet, we should consider ourselves dead. The more we sin the further away we drift from God’s presence into the enemy’s camp. He would show no mercy.

Whilst God manifests His love for us sinners, He does not and cannot tolerate sin. When the cherub Lucifer sinned as a result of his misplaced pride, he not only lost his position as the head angel, he was also kicked out from the presence of the God whose position he had coveted. “You were anointed as a guardian cherub, for so I ordained you. You were on the holy mount of God; you walked among the fiery stones. You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created till wickedness was found in you. Through your widespread trade you were filled with violence, and you sinned. So I drove you in disgrace from the mount of God, and I expelled you, O guardian cherub, from among the fiery stones.”  (Ezekiel 28: 14-16)

Sin, in whatever form it presents itself, is costly. It has a price tag; if it didn’t God would not be a just God. He had declared in no uncertain terms that the wicked would not go unpunished. “The Lord, the Lord, the passionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness and sin. Yet He does not leave the guilty unpunished; He punishes the children and their children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation,” (Exodus 34:6-7)

Adam and Eve did not only die spiritually they were thrust out of the Garden of Eden away from God’s marvelous light – away from His holy presence. The consequence of their behavior led to a difficult existence; because of their misdeed God cursed the earth and cursed humanity. “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it.” (Genesis 3:17) That was part of the punishment meted to them.

On several instances in the Old Testament God showed His anger at the comportment of some individuals or groups of people who disregarded His supremacy and authority by ridiculing Him or just plainly disobeying His word. Paul warned in his writings that God cannot be mocked.  “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what He sows.” (Galatians 6:7)

Miriam and Aaron, sister and brother to Moses “began to talk against Moses because of his Cushite wife, for he had married a Cushite.” They even questioned his authority in these terms; “Has the Lord spoken only to Moses? They asked. “Hasn’t He also spoken through us?” And the Lord heard this.” (Numbers 12:1-2) He summoned them instantly to give them a piece of His mind. By the time He finished Miriam had become leprous –a situation she had to live with for seven days despite Moses’ pleas to God for clemency.

Talking against God’s anointed is like critisizing God. It provokes God’s anger. God had given a clear warning: “Do not touch my anointed ones; do my prophet no harm.”  (Psalm 105:15) Men of God are God’s chief lieutenants. He alone has the privilege of correcting them when their conduct proves unsatisfactory.

In the Book of Acts of the Apostles chapter 12 verse 21 King Herod made the mistake of claiming to be God. Once, he delivered a public address to the people and he was thunderously applauded. “They shouted, this is the voice of a god not a man.” That must have gone to his head. Such posturing however cost him his life. “Immediately, because Herod did not give praise to God, an angel of the Lord struck him down, and he was eaten by worms and died.” (verse 23)

We cannot continue to take God lightly hoping we could appeal to His mercy and kindness always. It will be difficult to get away with blasphemous behavior.

The writer of the Book of Hebrews warns that if we keep on sinning “after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sin is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.” (Hebrews 10:26-27) He continues by underlying that, all those who treat the Son of God by trampling Him underfoot will be avenged by the Father. “Anyone who rejected the Law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified Him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?” For we know Him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ and again, “the Lord will judge His people.” (Hebrews 10: 28-30)

The writer concludes by saying it is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” (Hebrews 10:31)