Serious About Sin

OPENING PRAYER

Lord, in a world that is broken and unpredictable, thank You that You are always true, always just, always good.

 

Read:ECCLESIASTES 9:13-10:9

[13] I also saw under the sun this example of wisdom that greatly impressed me: [14] There was once a small city with only a few people in it. And a powerful king came against it, surrounded it and built huge siege works against it. [15] Now there lived in that city a man poor but wise, and he saved the city by his wisdom. But nobody remembered that poor man. [16] So I said, “Wisdom is better than strength.” But the poor man’s wisdom is despised, and his words are no longer heeded. [17] The quiet words of the wise are more to be heeded than the shouts of a ruler of fools. [18] Wisdom is better than weapons of war, but one sinner destroys much good. [1] As dead flies give perfume a bad smell, so a little folly outweighs wisdom and honor. [2] The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the fool to the left. [3] Even as fools walk along the road, they lack sense and show everyone how stupid they are. [4] If a ruler’s anger rises against you, do not leave your post; calmness can lay great offenses to rest. [5] There is an evil I have seen under the sun, the sort of error that arises from a ruler: [6] Fools are put in many high positions, while the rich occupy the low ones. [7] I have seen slaves on horseback, while princes go on foot like slaves. [8] Whoever digs a pit may fall into it; whoever breaks through a wall may be bitten by a snake. [9] Whoever quarries stones may be injured by them; whoever splits logs may be endangered by them. 

 

Reflect:WHAT PIECE OF WISDOM STANDS OUT TO YOU?

Something as small and seemingly insignificant as a fly may ruin an expensive perfume. As a present-day proverb warns, “One bad apple spoils the whole barrel.” Therefore, when storing apples, a farmer takes pains to ensure that no one fruit touches the other, lest one rotten apple destroy a whole harvest.Folly, or foolishness, is a bit like that. As we saw in Monday’s reading, the Bible understands folly as being a lack of reverence for God and moral deficiency (see Jeremiah 4:22), rather than simply lack of intelligence or common sense. Folly is not to be regarded as some harmless indiscretion, easily or casually overlooked; rather, it is cause for grave concern, for it “outweighs wisdom” (10:1) and may damage or even destroy what is good and wholesome. Paul upholds this same principle: “Don’t you know that a little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough?” (1 Cor. 5:6). Similarly, sin is a subtle pollutant. It is always a serious matter, never to be trifled with or flirted with, since even a “small” sin affronts the absolute holiness of our utterly holy God.

 

APPLY

Ask God to show you any area of “small” sins that may have serious consequences. Journal about it.

 

CLOSING PRAYER

Lord, I don’t want to be anything but what You have called me to be.

 

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