Tuesday, July 15, 2014

What Do We Do With The Circumstances Resulting From Our Sin?

Wouldn't it be great if "forgiven" also meant "forgotten". It does for Jesus but for everyone else it only means forgiven. It is hard for us to forget so there will always be natural fallout for our sins. There are also natural consequences for our sins. You have sex with your girlfriend and she gets pregnant. It is great that you have repented and forgiveness is yours but there is still a baby that needs a father. The Bible is filled with examples of the natural consequences of sin. Abraham is a great example.

Abraham had received a promise of a son who would be the seed of a great nation. However, sometimes Yahweh takes a bit of time to bring things into play. Abraham's wife, Sarah, was getting on in years and really was beyond having a child. She decided to give her servant, Hagar, to her husband so they could have a child through her. That wasn't the deal. It isn't what Yahweh had promised but Abraham was no different than you and me. He got impatient waiting and decided that maybe it wasn't such a bad idea to help Yahweh with the promise.

Sometimes we read these things in the Bible and fail to understand that these were real people, with real emotions. What Sarah thought would be a simple matter turned out to be something that broke her heart. It caused problems in the relationships in the family. Her servant started to think she was better than Sarah. Now Sarah had a rival for her husbands affections. She also didn't think it out very well because she really didn't think she would get pregnant even though Yahweh had promised. When she did, and after her son was born, the real trouble began.

Abraham had cursed his own life with the decision to get Hagar pregnant. Life was not pleasant for him at home:

And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, scoffing. Therefore she said to Abraham, “Cast out this bondwoman and her son; for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, namely with Isaac.” (Genesis 21:9-10)

Sarah was mad. It is never a good thing to try to live with an angry spouse. It is very unpleasant for anyone, but Abraham had no one to blame but himself:

And the matter was very displeasing in Abraham’s sight because of his son. (v. 11)

It was hard for Abraham because he loved Ishmael. Just because it was wrong and it was sin does not mean that emotions are not legitimate. That is what is so hard about sin, it results in very real things that threaten to crush us. Sins of the heart, those involving the entanglement of emotions, are the hardest. Abraham could see no way out of this. So take a real good note of the grace, mercy and compassion of our God:

“Do not let it be displeasing in your sight because of the lad or because of your bondwoman. Whatever Sarah has said to you, listen to her voice; for in Isaac your seed shall be called. Yet I will also make a nation of the son of the bondwoman, because he is your seed.” (v. 12-13)

This was not Yahweh's original plan but he loved Abraham and because Ishmael was Abraham's son he was going to look after him and grow him into a nation as well. But the promise was still going to be through  Isaac because he was Sarah's son too, and that was the original promise. Yahweh was bringing relief to Abraham by telling him to focus on Sarah, his wife, and he would care for Ishmael in Abraham's place.

Be encouraged by this. We may mess up and sin, going off the path of Yahweh's will, but he always has a way of bringing it back on track. We may change the circumstances by our sins but Yahweh is greater than all things and nothing frustrates his will. We may have to face uncomfortable situations for a while but we are stilled loved by Yahweh. Just make sure you have truly confessed your sin and repented, seeking a restored and vibrant relationship with Jesus. That's all Yahweh really wants, so that he can work through you.

Whatever the circumstances resulting from your sins, surrender it to Jesus and he will work the Father's will on it, and it will be good. Just look at the fore-parents of Jesus and you will see the circumstances through which Yahweh brought about his will. Don't forget that Yahweh is not a man; we should never place our limitations on him. The best thing you can do is trust Jesus..

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