Scripture passage - Numbers 14:17-24
When I was a young rebellious lad, I did some things I shouldn't have and I was convinced that I had got away with it. Later, my parents informed me that I didn't get away with near as much as I had thought. ( If my sons are reading this, neither did you).
Sometimes I think that people do rebellious things just for the thrill of not getting caught. I do appreciate the "rush" of pulling something off, but since I like to deal in truisms, we have to admit that we never really get away with anything.
If you had a religious upbringing I'm sure you were told that God is always watching you and that he sees everything you do, good or bad. When I was young I stole a candy bar from a local store. I got caught and I was waiting for the lightning bolt to strike me in the head at any minute. Now that I think about it, a lightning bolt might have been preferable to the butt-whuppin my Dad gave me.
There are always consequences for our actions. God offers us forgiveness for our bad actions, more commonly known as sin, but nowhere does he promise that he will remove the consequences of those actions. If I rob a bank, God will forgive me for that. But when I get caught, I still have to go to jail. Just like the Israelites in this passage. God forgave them but the consequences were still there. They would not be able to enter the Promised Land.
I guess that my point is that we should never take God's mercy for granted.
I have suffered the consequences of my sins and poor choices over the years, but I also have enjoyed the comfort of knowing that I am forgiven.
We need to take the time to make sure that we have been forgiven and then deal with the consequences as best we can. They won't last forever. I pray that this year will be a year when we all make less poor choices and enjoy our relationship with God more.
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