There IS a recompense for evil. It’s not instantaneous so some think they got away with it. But time runs out for everyone. Fear God and you don’t have to fear eternity.
Solomon knows that there is corruption in all levels of society, including the holy places. Corruption sneaks in through the most innocent looking places. “What can it hurt?” “No one will know.” There is One who ALWAYS knows. There is nothing that is hidden from Him.
Have you ever heard someone say something like, “May God strike me dead if ____.” It is usually said as an attempt to prove how honest or righteous the person is or how innocent the act is. But God seldom strikes down sin that quickly or on demand. I won’t say never because He can if He chooses. Solomon states that, in his experience, people get away with evil and then decide to go on sinning because they ‘got away with it’ before. “Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed speedily, the heart of the children of man is fully set to do evil” (verse 11).
We KNOW though that there is a price to pay for evil. It is not immediate but it is demanded. When you choose to accept the free gift of forgiveness Jesus bought for you, there is no longer any reason to fear retribution. We are safe in His arms. And it makes our everyday lives better too. No, we are not always perfect or without sin, but we know where to bring that sin and our hearts are lightened because of it. I, personally, feel miserable when I am in rebellion. That feeling propels me to my knees where I repent and start again. I can’t imagine walking around in this world with a guilty conscience that never lets up because I refuse to give up my ‘pleasure’.
My mother-in-law and I were just discussing this issue. She was telling me that she named all of her boys out of the bible in order to push her husband towards God. It didn’t work. He didn’t ask Jesus into his life until his final days, or so we think. She asked me why some people do that. I told her that many people believe it ‘ruins their fun’. Her response was, “Being a Christian makes you a much happier person.” I agree.
A lot of people wait for the very reason I just stated. They figure that they can repent at the last moment and everything will be alright. I have two problems with this. First of all, NONE OF US knows when he will die. We may get warning and maybe not. Do you really want to take the chance of missing your last chance? Second, when John the Baptist confronted the Pharisees when they were at his gatherings, he told them to “Bear fruit in keeping with repentance” (Matthew 3:8). It takes a little time to bear fruits.
But then my spirit was just reminded of the parable about the laborers in the field who were hired at different times of the day. ALL who came and worked were paid the same wage, regardless of the time they started work. Those who worked all day received the same as those who worked for only an hour. However, even the last ones hired did some labor. They didn’t just show up as the pay envelopes were passed around. So, I suppose my original rational stands for death bed confessions but not for the later in life ones.
Who knows the wonders God can do with a life once He gets it! Remember king Manasseh? He repented late in life and tried to get Israel to repent too but he failed. The people were too intrenched in their sin. God also still demanded that there be some form of punishment for the sins Manasseh committed beforehand. He names Manasseh personally when speaking of the reason for Judah falling. Manasseh was forgiven but Israel still paid for his sins. The nation turned away from sin with Josiah and all those during that reign were spared. But the stains of Manasseh’s sins remained. Israel turned back to their ways after Josiah’s reign ended. Sin has consequences.
Father God, THANK YOU for forgiveness! I would be lost without it. THANK YOU for giving me parents who taught me of You when I was a child. They introduced me to You and I have never regretted that foundation. I know You welcome people of all ages to come to You but I can’t imagine living my life without You from the early years. I don’t know how I would have survived without You.
I pray for all the people who are still trying to ‘have a good time’. They are in danger of eternity without You. And that is HELL, literally and figuratively. For my children too who are wandering Father. Bring them back to You. No matter how long it takes; bring them home. PLEASE!