ARE YOU SERIOUS?
We have a habit of rationalizing our behavior, don't we?
Somehow, we find it hard to accept responsibility for the things which we
do, even when it is clear that we have violated some rule or gone too far.
We use various tricks to deny any guilt which may be associated with the
wrongdoing. Oftentimes, when faced with the facts, we may respond with,
“You are not serious, are you?” Far too often, sin becomes trivial
to us, but God is serious about it. We will do well to take it seriously
also. Sin is indeed a “big deal,” bringing about separation from God.
(Isaiah 59:1,2) One of the purposes of God's law was to teach the extreme
sinfulness of sin. (Romans 7:13) A function of the New Testament record
is to discourage sin. (1 John 2:1)
by Bill Lambert
GOD WAS SERIOUS ABOUT THE TREE
God's warning to Adam and Eve was clear and to the point.
(Genesis 3) The tree of the knowledge of good and evil was “off limits”
to them. “If you eat, you die,” was the message. Eve understood the
word of the Lord, for she repeated it to Satan. Satan's approach to
Eve was subtle and successful. He convinced her that God was not really
serious about his warning. She ate some of the forbidden fruit and
persuaded her husband to do the same. When confronted, Adam sought
to shift the blame to his wife, and Eve sought to put the blame onto the
devil. All of them, though, were condemned by the Lord, and punished.
GOD WAS SERIOUS ABOUT HIS CHOICE
God had chosen a meek and unassuming Moses to lead the
children of Israel out of Egyptian captivity and into the promised land.
At first reluctant, Moses fulfilled his God-given responsibility. Some,
however, challenged his leadership. Korah, Dathan, On, and Abiram claimed
that he was taking too much upon himself. (Numbers 16) For their rebellion,
they paid with their lives. The earth opened up and swallowed them.
God means business.
GOD WAS SERIOUS ABOUT THE WATER
On one occasion, God had instructed Moses regarding the
obtaining of water for the Israelites by striking a rock. (Exodus 17)
It worked! Later, he told him to speak to a rock to bring forth water.
(Numbers 20) Moses, while speaking out to the rebellious Israelites, struck
the rock as he had before. Again, water came out of the rock.
Moses had not sanctified Jehovah God in the presence of the people.
As a result, he was not allowed to lead the children of Israel into the promised
GOD WAS SERIOUS ABOUT THE ARK
After having spent some time among the enemies of Israel,
and being stored at the house of Abinadab (1 Samuel 7), the Ark of the Covenant
was finally being restored to its proper place. It was loaded on a
cart and its journey home commenced. When the oxen stumbled, Uzza put
his hand upon the ark to steady it and was killed instantly. (2 Samuel 6)
The prohibition against touching the ark was not a recent one, but had been
in place from the beginning of its existence. (Numbers 4:15) God means
what he says.
GOD WAS SERIOUS ABOUT JERICHO
Prior to the destruction of Jericho, God had declared
that no looting would be allowed, but everything was dedicated to God. (Joshua
6:18-19) Achan did not take very much, but what he took cost his life,
and those of his family. (Joshua 7) God's will was to be done!
GOD IS SERIOUS ABOUT OUR LEARNING
One of the reasons the Old Testament record has been preserved
is so that we might learn not to make the same mistakes others have made.
(1 Corinthians 10:11) Every transgression and disobedience received
a just recompense of reward. (Hebrews 2:2) Not only has God executed
judgment upon men, but it has always been just. All
of us must see sin for what it is. Every sin is an insult to the holiness
of God. We are accountable for our own sins and for any encouragement
we give to others to sin. Sin makes us unsuitable for the service of
God. It provides cause for enemies of righteousness to blaspheme.
Sin separates us from God. Serious? Believe it...it is serious!