Consequences of Sin – Genesis 17-19

In Chapter 16, we looked at Hagar, who identified God as “the one who sees.” But God doesn’t only see an abused woman in the desert, crying desperately. He also sees the sin of the masses. Genesis 6-8 shows us a time when God saw communal sin and destroyed them with a great flood. Genesis 11 showed God causing confusion amongst the people when, in their pride, they tried to make their own way to God.

Sin has consequences. God does not ignore sin.

Then the men set out from there,
and they looked down toward Sodom.

God saw the sin the people of Sodom. He wanted to include Adam in his thought process to learn about justice and mercy.

The Lord said, 
“Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do,
seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation,
and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?
For I have chosen him, that he may command his children 
and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord
by doing righteousness and justice, 
so that the Lord may bring to Abraham what he has promised him.”

God knew Sodom’s sin. But he wanted to have the conversation with Adam to show him his just judgements. He had incrediable patience with Abraham in this duel, but the message was that God will not allow sin to go unchecked.

God also wanted to show Abraham his mercy, through providing a way of escape for Lot and his family. But even then, there was judgement for Lot’s wife, who still could not separate herself from her love of the sin of the city. And even after Lot and his daughters relocated, sin learned in that city continued.

Why do we think that we can get away with sin? Why do we question the justice of God? And even when God is in the midst of saving us, offering us redemption, why are we tempted to look back?

God is a just and merciful god. 

A Timeless Question – Psalm 82

Over and over again, I remember David asking God why he seems to be blessing the unjust. But in Psalm 82, I saw a twist I’ve never seen before.

God asks us why we judge unjustly…

“How long will you judge unjustly and show partiality to the wicked?”

Wow.  In the midst of these turbulent times, it’s quite an indictment. Are we showing partiality? Why? What motivates us? How are we showing partiality? Do we judge unjustly?

He then describes to us a way out…

“Give justice to the weak and fatherless; 
maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute. 
Rescue the weak and the needy; 
deliver them from the hand of wicked.”

I’ve avoided topics around racial tensions in the US, but this hit me as a slap in the face. It’s not a political issue. It’s a compassion issue. Even more, it’s a justice issue.

Do we dominate poorer communities because they are weaker? Are there “wicked people” who get their strength from overpowering others? Is there a people, a race, who has been afflicted and destitute of their rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? Are they being taken advantage of for personal gain?  

Have I contributed to this injustice? 

What is my responsibility to give justice?

So many questions come out of one pure, timeless, question. Asked over and over again through the centuries. Through every culture. Because every culture has been the same, and it hurts the heart of God. 

 How am I going to respond? What are my answers? What is God asking me to do?

I wish I had more answers. Right now I don’t. I will listen, continue to listen, to God and to others. And I trust God will show me, will show us, what heart change that is needed and what actions need to follow.

Pray with me.