The Wages of Sin
Sin feels good for a time. There is a temporary thrill when we are eating what we shouldn’t or online where we should not be. It is an immediate hit of adrenaline that acts to obscure the true nature of what is going on. It feels right for a short time, but there are always consequences that follow. Sin can taste sweet to our flesh for a season. The Bible promises the wages of sin is death. Taking God at His Word on this can protect us and our families from the consequences that always follow.
The Temptation of Sweetness
The wreckage of a great ant invasion in my house reminded of this truth. I live in an old house. It has lots of open cracks and crevices. People call it character but the critters call these holes invitations. They are superhighways leading into our pantry filled with yummy human food. My house gets invaded by mice, snakes, squirrels, spiders, and ants. My wife just loves this aspect of old house living.
The problem has grown substantially with a toddler in the house. I was not surprised to find her high chair covered with ants cashing in on the messiness of a little one’s eating habits. It was the biggest ant invasion outside of shows about Australia. The chair and floor were dark with ants. It was time for me to battle these tiny invaders. It did not go very well at first. I tried to squish a million ants by hand. This only served to get 800,000 ants crawling all over me. I may have run out of the room crying and screeching.
I found a counter to the ant hordes thanks to the internet. It involved a mixture of Borax, sugar, and water on a plate as a passive poison trap. The idea is using what the ants are attracted to, sweetness, against them. No need to stomp each one by hand. I just left the toxic ant stew out for them and waited. Their inborn urge to consume sweetness would lead to their destruction. The ants don’t realize they are ingesting and being covered by the Borax along with the thrill of the sugar rush. Borax kills ants.
Sin works in much the same way. Satan does not come out and announce he wants to destroy us. Evil hides itself in desires that seem good at first. Sin lurks behind the natural wants and needs of life. It is like the Borax mixed in with sugar. There is nothing wrong with an ant’s attraction to sugar. It is only when the poison is ingested that it becomes deadly….for us and our families.
Bringing the Whole Tribe Down
The ants don’t just willingly ingest the agent of their ruin. They bring it back to their tribe. They return to the colony covered in Borax. It gets fed to the colony. Borax gets on everything the ants get near. It becomes part of their everyday diet. The ants also direct each other back to the trap to continue to the process. Before you know it, the whole colony is slowly being covered with the agent that kills them. What was attractive and sweet for a short-term eventually destroys them.
I found the process fascinating and was constantly checking the progress. At one point the ants were so intent on getting to the sweetness of the sugar-water that they pushed each other into the water. There were dead ants all around the plate and the ants kept on pushing through trying to get more.
They were acting out the very clear consequences of sin in our lives. Sin is not content with taking just you down. It wants your whole family. It wants your friends. It wants your church.
Sin Uses Sweetness to Destroy Us
Sin often seems thrilling for a time. It can be shiny, tasty, attractive and sweet like the sugar-water. Stolen glances turn into thrilling moments with someone who seems sweet but is poison for our spirit. Yet, a second of pleasure sows years of pain in our family. Sin tastes good initially to get us hooked. It uses its power to try to get us to ignore the warning of the Spirit prompting us to flee for our lives. No one would sin of Satan brought out a Lake of Fire slide show along with the temptation.
No matter how good it tastes in the near term, sinful behavior is always filled with poison. It is a trap meant to kill us. There is always Borax mixed in with the sugar. Sin is never placed in our path for our good. It is there to destroy us by the one who wants us dead. He wants to steal from us, kill us and destroy us and destroy us.
We have a choice whether we want to keep on going past it or dive headlong into it. Once we taste the sin, it is hard to turn away….it is just so sweet. We often know it is filled with poison, but don’t want to turn away because it tastes so good.
Once we are in sin, completely hooked, it is like the Borax and the ants. We get sin on us and become so covered by it everyone around us is affected. We drag our sin into our homes, our jobs and add it to every part of our lives. We feed it to our families.
We may think we can sit at work in sin and just leave it there. That is not how sin works. The poison we allow in coats us to our very core. It becomes what we feed to our spouses and our children. We lead the ones we love into the very same trap that is killing us.
We even push them in if they get in the way of getting to our great and powerful idol – whatever sin we have chosen to serve.
Take a gander at the local bars late in the evening or the local methadone clinic. People are literally being killed by their sin and yet they will knock you down and trample you to get to their poison. The wages of sin is death.
Sin is enticing, Sin can taste good initially, Sin can be intoxicating but it always kills in the end. It is poison and that is what poison does. We need to see that sin is our enemy and wage war on it, not an old friend to embrace. For more, read Wage War Against Your Sin and Do You Want to be Healed?
Sin kills families. Sin kills communities. Just look at the ants.
The good news is that we are not ants, we can turn away at any time. Jesus died to give us that freedom. God always provides us a way to escape. We desperately need to understand the nature of what we are ingesting. It may seem sweet but it poison. The example we are given of this is from the Book of Hebrews:
By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, 25 choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, 26 esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward.
Moses could have experienced all the world had to offer as a powerful ruler of a pagan land. Yet, he knew the passing pleasures of sin are nothing compared with the eternal riches of Jesus. Jesus can save us from it so turn to Him as Savior….and be Saved.