Sin’s wages when full grown are terrible.
“1 The people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the LORD, and the LORD gave them into the hand of Midian seven years. 2 And the hand of Midian overpowered Israel, and because of Midian the people of Israel made for themselves the dens that are in the mountains and the caves and the strongholds. 3 For whenever the Israelites planted crops, the Midianites and the Amalekites and the people of the East would come up against them. 4 They would encamp against them and devour the produce of the land, as far as Gaza, and leave no sustenance in Israel and no sheep or ox or donkey. 5 For they would come up with their livestock and their tents; they would come like locusts in number–both they and their camels could not be counted–so that they laid waste the land as they came in.” (Judges 6:1-5–ESV)
Since the people of Israel did not guard their hearts the inevitable happened. They did evil. All that goes on on the earth is in the sight of God. Life ungodly is not unobserved. Life on God’s earth in man’s style is an affront to God. This is true for any nation, but is all the more true when done by those who have been especially blessed of God.
The inevitable is like the sunset taking a while to develop. The darkness comes on, but it is not instant. So it was in Israel. Midian began its oppression and the people began their response. Unable to resist they retreated. They and their families shrank back from their cities to the mountains. They exchanged their houses for caves. Since they behaved like animals in their lifestyles they began to live like animals in their life-conditions. People, though, are ill-equipped to live like deer, rabbits and possums.
Midian was the ringleader in upturning the Israelite world. Their example made Israel an example and many other nations gathered in Israel’s land like vultures over a carcass.
Not just a “Bible” story
Americans cannot behave like pagans and escape the wages of sin. Church families and members, parents, children and teenagers cannot live as they will and be blessed like they want.
I do not have the wisdom to point out which of our country’s evils and sufferings are the side effects of ungodly living and which are the punishments of God. Even so repentance from the evils is needful. The spiritual atrophy which was reviewed in Judges 2 can only be avoided by Godly focus. The learning of God’s character and the learning of God’s deeds coupled to submission and obedience to him as Lord, that will be blessed.
If you are a closet sinner (sort of like a Sunday Christian), stop sinning in the closet. Stay in the closet and repent before God of those sins. Then come out to live a holy life and be cheered and supported by God.
There are many who do not try to engage the deeds of God in secret. Those who walk in God’s ways can make a difference by advertising his character and telling of his deeds. We also can speak of the wages of sin, the atrophy of the pleasant things in life.
Key points from these verses:
- One can live in God’s framework and thrive or kick against it and dive.
- Never underestimate the effects of sin
- God disciplines those he loves
- A Christian who is a closet sinner needs to repent and then come out of the closet to live a holy life. Put godliness not sinfulness on display.