“Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom.” Solomon 2:15
I listened to the announcement as the NCAA handed down sanctions against Penn State University for it’s role in the Sandusky cover up. Some say the school was not penalized enough. But, regardless of what the effect of those penalties will be, the message has been sent.
There is a consequence to our actions (and inaction). The principle of sowing and reaping is alive and well. And sometimes it’s about the things we don’t do as much as the things we do.
I also watched a lifeless young man sitting in the courtroom at his arraignment for the killing spree in Aurora, Colorado. I could no more tell you what he might have been thinking at that moment than I could on the evening when he committed his evil rampage. But I wonder if all the long, dark nights spent in solitary confinement have caused the rising light of dawn to shine on this often forgotten yet enduring truth:
“Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.” Galatians 6:7-8
I heard a woman share her testimony in church not long ago. One day she was a teacher, the next day she was in rehab for drugs. And when she landed in jail for violating her probation, she found herself asking, “How did I get here?”
After she eventually turned to God and away from drugs, she had an experience that answered that question.
At her new job delivering pizza, she pocketed money that a customer intended for payment. It was a small amount and she reasoned that she could accept it as a tip. But towards the end of her shift she heard God whisper that this was exactly how her demise began in the past. She quickly took the money out of her pocket and placed it in the cash register where it belonged.
What she learned that day is that little things add up to big things. Ignoring sin is like allowing those little foxes to rip through all that is lovely in our lives. We may think they are entertaining and harmless at first, but if gone unchecked they will lead us to ruin.
Still, we watch the news and wonder out loud, “What’s happening to our society? When did things get so out of control? … How did we get here?”
I’m sure the molesters and the murderers would agree that their downfall began with a single thought that turned into one bad decision that lead to many more. And I have experienced times in my own life when I closed my eyes to the truth and opened my heart up to the great lie. The lie that tells us we have a right to that sin, whatever it is.
But, just like Eve in the garden, we discover something when we bite into that innocent-looking piece of fruit…it bites back! You realize that sin is sin no matter how good it looks on the outside. So the cover-up begins. Even though we all find out at some point that we can run, but we can’t hide.
Over and over, God’s word reminds us that “There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known.” Matthew 10:26
Numbers 32:23 states, “…you may be sure that your sin will find you out.”
So what can we do to keep from having to ask ourselves some day, “How did I get here?”
Perhaps the answer is in not pretending it will be easy or that we can do it on our own. We have to acknowledge we need help. We are all prone to sin. We all need a Savior.
And the good news, the great news, is there is a Savior! Jesus is willing and able to pick us up when we fall but we must be willing to turn to Him in sincere repentance. Because making excuses rather than amends – that is what hardens the heart.
Sow righteousness for yourselves, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the LORD, until he comes and showers his righteousness on you. Hosea 10:12
Today, I see a great need in our country, in our world, in myself and I believe it truly is “time to seek the Lord.” Let’s dig into the Word and ask God to help us break up any unplowed ground so our lives might produce the beautiful harvest that He intended.
Inspiring Tip: To keep away those little foxes, you might enjoy visiting the resource page at Biblegateway.com which has links to audio bibles, commentaries and other study tools.