When you were a child, did your parents ever tell you to do something or face the consequences? I am pretty sure that most readers understood what their parents meant by such a statement. If the instructed chore were not accomplished within a reasonable amount of time, then there was a suitable punishment that awaited. Now think about the premise from a Biblical point of view. God has told man what to do, or else man will face the consequences.
To begin this study, let us go all the way back to the first man and first woman. Adam and Eve were well aware of what God had said. “And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die” (Gen. 2:16-17; cf. 3:2-3). As long as Adam and Eve obeyed God, then they would continue to enjoy the blessings of the Garden of Eden. However, it is well known that they did not remain faithful. Instead, they both sinned. Then came the consequences. There are some that might think that Adam and Eve avoided any consequences for their sins because they did not physically die that day (see Rom. 6:23). That is not true. God extended grace to Adam and Eve by implementing His predetermined plan of salvation (Gen. 3:15). Had God not been gracious, then yes, Adam and Eve would have died. Instead, the mercy of God is shown, but not without consequences. From that point forward, Adam and Eve lived different lives than they had enjoyed before. “Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee” (Gen. 3:16). “And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return” (Gen. 3:17-19).
Later in the history of mankind, we are introduced to a man named Moses. Many people know Moses as the great lawgiver of the nation of Israel. Likewise, many recall that it was Moses that led the Israelites out of Egyptian bondage and through the Red Sea. Truly this man experienced many blessings from God. That did not change the fact that he had to face a consequence when he sinned. No doubt, the often complaints that Moses heard from the Israelites took a toll on him mentally. Yet, Moses had seen that time and time again, God took care of the complaints by supplying their needs. On one occasion, “And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Take the rod, and gather thou the assembly together, thou, and Aaron thy brother, and speak ye unto the rock before their eyes; and it shall give forth his water, and thou shalt bring forth to them water out of the rock: so thou shalt give the congregation and their beasts drink” (Num. 20:7-8). A very simple set of things that God commanded Moses to do. Unfortunately, “And Moses took the rod from before the LORD, as he commanded him. And Moses and Aaron gathered the congregation together before the rock, and he said unto them, Hear now, ye rebels; must we fetch you water out of this rock? And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also” (Num. 20:9-11). There you have it. Moses sinned. He did not do as God had told him. How seriously did God take such an offense? “And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them” (Num. 20:12). That is right, Moses and Aaron never got the privilege of entering into the promised land of Canaan.
These are but a few examples of the consequences that have come with sin. Let us learn from their mistakes. If you and I reject God and His Word, then one day we will have to face the consequence that none of us will want. “And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power” (2 Thess. 1:7-9). ~ Corey Barnette
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