Tuesday, May 2, 2023

The Fruit of Sin (Proverbs 11:5, 6, 8; 13:25; 14:11)

"The unfaithful will be caught by their lust" (Prov. 11:6).

How many sins would have been avoided in this world if only transgressors had foreseen the devastating consequences of their actions? Would the Egyptians have continued to pursue the Israelites if they had foreseen the deadly collapse of the Red Sea upon their heads? Would David have taken Bathsheba to his bed and murdered her husband if he had foreseen the death of one son and the rebellion of another? Would Haman have been so diligent in his plot against Mordecai if he had known that he would be the one condemned by the hangman’s noose? Would Daniel’s accusers have schemed to throw him in the lion’s den if they had anticipated that they would be the ones to face the ferocious beasts?

The answers to such questions would be highly speculative, for we know that man’s heart is so deceived that even if he saw the trouble caused by sin he would still continue to sin. Yet, the point remains—if only people would consider the consequences of sin, they might not give into temptation so easily. But, you might say, no one can see the future. While we may not be able to see the specific consequences of our actions, God has warned us through His Word that nothing but trouble comes from sin. We do not need a prophecy to reveal the truth about sin’s consequences—God has already spoken through the Scriptures. Do you believe His Word? Do you believe that “the wicked will fall by his own wickedness” (Prov. 11:5), or that “the years of the wicked will be shortened” (10:27), or that “the house of the wicked will be overthrown” (14:11)? Do you need any more proof?

While God’s Word should provide sufficient warning against the ways of wickedness, do not your own experiences tell the tale as well? Has not sin given birth to sorrow and trouble in your own life? How many times have you moaned, “If only I had known what the consequences would be, I would never have done this or that?” Well, now you know. Not only has your own life testified, but God has testified to this truth through His Word—sin produces only trouble and sorrow. Let this warning of the temporal consequences of sin seep into your heart and restrain you from temptation in the future.

Memorize one of the verses quoted in today’s study concerning the consequences of wickedness. Are you convinced that sin produces only trouble and sorrow? Is there any temptation with which you presently struggle? If so, think of the bitter fruit that can come from giving in to it. Let such warning deter you.