Newton's law: for every action there is an equal and opposite re-action. Some days it seems like this is my mantra to my almost four year old. There is a consequence for our actions, whether negative or positive and we are the ones who get to determine what our actions are. As I was reading through Joshua and the conquering of the Promised Land, Newton's law came to mind again.
God had told the Israelites not to take any plunder from Jericho.
But keep away from the devoted things, so that you will not bring about your own destruction by taking any of them. Otherwise you will make the camp of Israel liable to destruction and bring trouble on it. Joshua 6:18
But one man could not help himself. When he saw in the plunder a beautiful robe from Babylonia, two hundred shekels of silver and a bar of gold weighing fifty shekels, he coveted them and took them and hid them in the ground inside his tent (Joshua 7:20-21, paraphrase).
His disobedient action cost the Israelites victory over the conquering of the next city, Ai, and the lives of some of their people. And ultimately, his life and the lives of his family and all that he owned. Joshua 7:24-26
As I sat there reading, I had to stop. It seemed like so much punishment for a seemingly trivial act of disobedience. Taking a few things you should not have taken. Possibly similar to looking at something for a few seconds that eyes are not meant to gaze upon or uttering words not meant to be on the tongue or incriminating thoughts permeating around in your head or borrowing without asking. Something no one would notice. But God does. And He did.
God noticed the coveting and the taking and the hiding and the sin. He had already warned there would be destruction and trouble if there was disobedience and yet the sin still occurred, which had to be followed by the punishment.
The bible says the wages of sin is death and how all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 6:23, 5:8). We all have our coveting - double minded - prideful - falling short sin in our life, no matter what that may be. We are all sinners. And the reaction for sin is death.
But we do have hope. We have Jesus.
And just for a little dramatic effect, insert Give Me Jesus by Jeremy Camp. Such a simple, beautiful song. Have a listen.
Give me Jesus, give me Jesus
You can have all this world
But give me Jesus
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8
God made a way for us, through Jesus. It is our choice: to believe and follow in obedience, covered in grace or get the punishment for sin - death.
Praying that if you have not put your hope in Jesus that you would make that choice and see the reaction. That you would see the blessings and healing and comfort that stem from it. That you would cross over from death to the abundant life and walk in the freedom that flows from it. Praying that you would see the errors of your ways and turn from them and start veering from the negative reactions to the positive.
Here's to hope and actions and reactions.