The other day I was reading 1 Kings 14:1-20. King Jeroboam’s son was ill so he was sending his wife to the prophet Ahijah to find out if he was going to be OK. He told her not to let the prophet know who she was, probably so Ahijah wouldn’t be tempted to skew his prophecy for the King’s wife. Yet before she even got there, the Lord told Ahijah she was coming, who she was, and what to say. What took place in that meeting got me thinking about holiness in our generation.
She gets there and as soon as Ahijah hears her footsteps, he calls her out. He tells her she’s Jeroboam’s wife and that her husband is evil. Apparently he was living in habitual sin – a lifestyle of dishonoring the Lord. He set up a bunch of false gods and idols that led Israel astray. Ahijah tells her most of Jeroboam’s kingdom is going to die in the streets and get eaten by wild animals. Not only that, but as soon as she steps foot back in her town her son will die. He’ll be the only one who gets a proper burial because he has done some good.
Now right away my mind goes to empathy and feeling bad for the parents. She didn’t even get the words out to ask if her son will be OK and the prophet has already told her he will die. We’re tempted to say the punishment does not fit the crime, but that’s not how it works. Sin in the Kingdom of God is all the same; whether blatant and what the world still considers to be evil, or simply something that is sin between you and God because of what He has spoken to you directly that you’re missing the mark on. It’s all the same in that it opens the door and gives legality to Satan in your life…and he doesn’t play fair.
He comes to steal, kill, and destroy. He has no gauge that turns down the evil for “small” sins. Turn down for what? When there’s a crack in the armor he’s running full speed ahead to get in there and break it more. Am I saying you should run for your life if you mess up? Absolutely not. I’m talking about a lifestyle of sin.
I believe people habitually sin because a.) they do not believe there will be a consequence, or b.) they’ve calculated what the consequence will be and think they can handle it. The problem with this thinking is that the repercussion of sin is not linear. It’s not like if I do A, then B. It’s more like if I do A, then giraffe. The aftermath is coming, but it will most likely not strike in the place or manner you expected. I’m sure Jeroboam did not believe that his personal decisions as King were going to cause the death of untold numbers of people, including his own son. Had he realized that, perhaps he would’ve made different choices.
God does not reign down terror to pay you back for messing up. That’s not how it works. When you habitually sin with no regard to repentance, you come out from under His protection and leave yourself (your family and others you’re responsible for as well) exposed to a very real enemy that wants to destroy you. I believe if people understood this, they would live more circumspect. They would have a holy reverent fear. They would be more obedient to a good God. Instead they disconnect their sin from its consequences and blame the Lord for what the enemy unleashed through the crack in their armor.
Sin is no joke, and in this day and age where pretty much everything is permissible, the enemy of our souls is trying to have a field day. But it’s not over. People will rise up and dare to live a publicly holy life through the empowerment of Jesus Christ. It will show, and it will spread. Sin is not anything new, fancy, or remarkable. If you live a life full of actions you know in your heart are wrong, you’re average, mediocre, and going with the flow. If you want to stand out, if you want to be different, if you want to leave an imprint on your generation and most importantly be protected from the enemy, don’t let your conscience be seared. In your life, and in the circles you run in, let Holiness be the new hipster.