Some people think they can sin against God and get away with it.
Jeroboam was the first northern king of the newly divided kingdom of Israel about 3000 years ago.
God had given Jeroboam crystal clear instructions as to how to, both, live his own life as well as lead the people.
But, Jeroboam had no interest in what God had to say.
He abandoned God, set up pagan idols, and blatantly broke the clear laws God had given to Israel.
Even after God sent a prophet to warn Jeroboam of devastating judgment we’re told, “But even after this, Jeroboam did not turn from his evil ways.” (You can read the final death sentence of Jeroboam and his lineage in the biblical history book of 1 Kings 14:1-18)
My point? What is not overtly mentioned in Jeroboam’s story is that God’s judgment did not come immediately. Sometimes judgment from God in biblical stories comes immediately as in the story of Ananias & Sapphira in Acts 5:1-11. But, other times it follows the pattern of the haunting warning at the top of this blog from Numbers 32:23, a warning given by Moses to the nation of Israel.
So, the lesson from Jeroboam’s story is that, the moment sin is committed, consequences are set in motion. Sin’s consequences are guaranteed in God’s Word, but the timing is hard to predict. When we do something contrary to God’s commands and there isn’t immediate judgment we are often fooled into believing we got away with it.
The Hebrew picture behind the warning given by Moses is unsettling: the consequences of our sin are hunting us. We are the prey. The consequences are the hunter. There’s no hiding from Almighty God. We will be caught. It’s only a matter of time.
My friends, please understand this day that our actions have consequences, always. God’s forgiveness is assured. But, almost always, he will not violate earthly consequences of our arrogance and rebellion. Especially after he has given us repeated warnings through his word as well as through the counsel of godly friends.
Love to you all, nw