My father used to tell me, “You reap what you sow.” I didn’t know he was telling me a biblical principle. I thought maybe it was an African proverb or something he made up. He would explain that when a farmer plants corn, he doesn’t grow a crop of strawberries—he grows corn. He told me that when I sowed stupidity or a lack of common sense, I would grow a harvest of calamity. It made sense to him, but it didn’t make any sense to me.Read More
The recognition that the blessing has been taken from him leads to Esau’s loud bitter cry, “Bless me—me too, my father!” The blessing he does receive from his father (27:39-40) in no way satisfies him. The grudge against his brother is deepened and he vows to kill Jacob when Isaac is dead (27:41).Read More consequences, deception @en, family conflict
Skeletons left in our closets will ultimately haunt us. Our good deeds and benevolence will not erase the giants of our unfinished messes.
Twenty years after deceiving his father Isaac, Jacob was about to come face to face with his brother Esau from whom he had robbed the family blessing.Read More prayer, fear, consequences, guilt
The people have reached the edge of the Promised Land only to be told that they must turn around and head back into the wilderness. They are facing the consequences of their unbelief and rebellion. God tells the people that they have complained “against me too many times” and every person who “ganged up against me” will die “here in the desert”. Their children will wander in the desert for forty years—one year for each day the land was explored.Read More consequences, rebellion @en, unbelief
In this story, Korah a Levite, along with three friends, recruits 250 respected leaders who challenge Moses’ and Aaron’s right to lead. They accuse Moses and company of thinking they are “better than anyone else,” declaring that they are all part of God’s holy people. Moses views Korah’s rebellion as against God, (not Aaron); the result of an ungrateful spirit that doesn’t recognize the honor God has bestowed upon Levites who serve God in the tabernacle (vv 4-11).Read More consequences, rebellion @en, complaining
One last time, Moses urges the people to follow God, and then it is finished. After 40 years of pleading with and for these people, Moses is now finished. The conclusion is bittersweet.
Moses has seen God do remarkable things, he has walked with remarkable patience and humility, and yet he too fell short of the mark and lost his patience. Moses broke faith with God and God’s righteousness would need to prevail. With God, there are not favourites, not even Moses. We all must bear the consequence of sin.Read More choice, consequences, scars
We can see how it happened, but Samson’s demise is still unpleasant. I admit thinking, “It didn’t have to end this way. If only ….”
But it’s so much easier to see this in someone else’s life, isn’t it? All the mistakes. All the sins that separate a person from God’s perfect will for their lives. It’s a little more difficult to notice when we are straying.Read More sin, mercy, consequences
The Lord had specially chosen Levites to be priests, his representatives to the people. It was a holy calling and responsibility. Yet even though Eli is aware of the disgusting, disrespectful, sinful things his sons are doing in their priestly role, he doesn’t stop them. They are thumbing their nose at God and Eli stands on the sidelines.
Disobedience, disrespect – these are widespread attitudes in today’s world.Read More consequences, disobedience, disrespect
Are you ever critical of the people in the Bible? Look at Hophni and Phinehas, for example. They are of the priestly line, chosen by God to serve him at the temple. Their training, beginning at a young age, was the responsibility of their father, the priest Eli. Yet, they have a complete disrespect and disregard for their position and God (1 Samuel 2:12-17).
How clueless could they be?Read More obedience, consequences, ark of the covenant
Few people actually go out of their way to deliberately hurt others. That probably cannot be said of liars or gossipers or people who bear false witness. But, most people mean well, and want to do what is best for themselves and for others. The problem is, even good people can do harm. We can make a bad decision or say the wrong thing or say the right thing in the wrong way, or ignore someone who reaches out to us and we don’t see them, or we fail to give a word of encouragement because at that moment we are too self-centered.Read More consequences, forgiveness, restoration, harm