Punishment 101

Monday Musings for June 27, 2016

Good morning, Musers,

I'm going to talk about punishment today! Not too cheery, heh? But this is not about those rare overt punishments — like when God opened the ground to swallow-up Korah or when he killed the two believers, Ananias and Sapphira, for lying. It's about the more common type — where people volunteer to be punished. Volunteer? Sure... but I'm not talking about jumping into a wood-chipper here; I'm talking about marrying a beautiful woman, taking a high-paying job... stuff like that. 

Do those lead to punishment? They do if God says they do. But the punishment part does not manifest instantly. In fact, it sometimes takes a lifetime. You see, there are two things God won't do: First, he won't jump down your throat the instant you choose a wrong path, and second, he won't be mocked.

“So when you, a mere human being, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance? But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed.” (Romans 2:3–5, NIV)  

“Interpret our Master’s patient restraint for what it is: salvation...”(2 Peter 3:15, The Message)  

“But if you fail to do this, you will be sinning against the Lord; and you may be sure that your sin will find you out.” (Numbers 32:23, NIV)  

So, if life is school (and it is), this course is called "Punishment 101 — Just Give Them What They Want." It's a devotional to celebrate our crossing into July. Enjoy.

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