Tag Archives: punishment

Contentment


A faithful person will be richly blessed,
but one eager to get rich will not go unpunished.
Proverbs 28:20

A characteristic of human nature is the uncontrollable desire to accumulate property and wealth. What seems to have begun as a simple but necessary self-preservation instinct, storing supplies for the days of scarcity, is uncontrollably unleashed in a compulsion for the accumulation of wealth, which goes beyond what we really need to live a comfortable and secure life. The prevailing economic style of our consumer society takes full advantage of this weakness of character and we get bombarded with advertising and promotion of lifestyles that only a few can achieve and maintain. Competitiveness, which has also been instilled from our earliest infancy is combined with this merciless advertisement attack to make us bend our knees before the despicable idol of money . Every way we look at it we lose because our own forces are nothing compared with the strength of the message that the world uses to control our lives.

The Lord Jesus warned us: “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” The apostle Paul complemented: “Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.” The times of shortage we have been given are not for us to endeavor to leave them but to learn “what it is to be in need, and to know what it is to have plenty. To learn the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” These things also happen to us so that Christ’s power is perfected in our weakness. Let us, then, be forever grateful for the circumstances we have to live, for God has everything under his perfect control and everything that happens to us is for our own good. Only to God be the glory!

Timely justice


Be sure of this: The wicked will not go unpunished,
but those who are righteous will go free.
Proverbs 11:21

Everyone would like to live in a world controlled by justice but only to the extent that justice is not applied to them. All of us demand that the law is applied to its full extent but do not like it when the law is enforced upon us. Today’s world is but a reflection of these ideas that are present in every culture and nation because they are part of the sinful nature of man. That is why in the world can never find justice that prevails and happiness for everyone. However, although global justice is violated in many ways, on the spiritual realm there is a justice that cannot be violated or avoided. We are talking about divine justice. This is a justice which are not used to and when we have seen it applied it amazes some people and many even deny it because they can not understand it. In the narratives of the Bible that show this justice in action, some see a vengeful and cruel God and it is very difficult for them to accept that God is the same God who speaks of love. Because of their inability to understand that God is both love and justice numerous heresies have come about, including that of the Gnostics and also ideas such as the widely known but false Eastern dualism and its balance of yin and yang.

As children of God we must see justice as a hope because God’s time not our time. His “Kairos” is not our “kronos” and his thoughts are far above ours. We long for justice, we want to see it in action, but God will not apply it until he sees fit. Conventional wisdom puts it this way: “God delays but does not forget.” Meanwhile, we live with the conviction that his justice will soon come and it cannot be avoided. The wicked will receive their just retribution and the just will receive recognition from God. Love and Justice will converge in one point, the person of Jesus Christ, King of kings and Lord of lords. Only to God be the glory!

Deceit and Judgement


A false witness will not go unpunished,
and whoever pours out lies will not go free.
A false witness will not go unpunished,
and whoever pours out lies will perish.
Proverbs 19:5,9

One of the many negative things that can be attributed to postmodernism is that it paved the way for deceit to spread like fire in dry grass. Today it is difficult to determine when a man is telling the truth or is spreading a lie. Many now emulate the satanic Joseph Goebbels, Propaganda Minister of the Nazi government who said “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.” This seems to be the fundamental communication strategy of totalitarian governments, which seek to maintain with lies the power achieved by force and cunning, and unfortunately for many with great success. Today we can also see how people have lost their honor and how a man’s word is worthless. Commitments are broken and testimony under oath is broken without the slightest trace of remorse. Judicial mechanisms in place to punish these violations of commitment and truth are ignored at the convenience of those in power.

The promise of the Word of God which can not be broken and will be fulfilled without fail, is that all these people who enjoy and profit from using deceit and falsehood will be brought to the punishment they deserve. Divine justice will be ruthless in judging those who made a business of lying to their own advantage. In that day, it will be too late for these deceivers to repent of the conduct with which for years they did great harm to their neighbors. Their fate will be to be thrown into the place where “their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.” Have you been deceived or cheated by someone in whom you’ve placed your trust? Let God take care of him. Have you been hurt by deceit used with prejudice? God will also take care of that. Let us put our hope in the justice who is to come without fail when God decides it is time. Let us bring our burdens to the Lord Jesus and take his yoke which is easy and light. Only to God be the glory!

True riches


This is what the wicked are like—
always free of care, they go on amassing wealth.
Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure
and have washed my hands in innocence.
All day long I have been afflicted,
and every morning brings new punishments.
If I had spoken out like that,
I would have betrayed your children.
Psalms 73:12-15

One of the biggest challenges a son of God must face during his pilgrimage on this earth is the prosperity and supposed success of those who openly oppose the commandments of God. The system established by this world is responsible for promoting those who have managed to accumulate wealth, regardless of whether they were obtained by legal or illegal means. The fact is not how but how much. What seems more important is the end and not the means used to achieve it. Everyone dreams to win the lottery jackpot, even those who do not buy the tickets. It seems that the motto “Success equals wealth” was inscribed with fire in the minds of all. The same system is responsible for teaching us ad nauseam that the limitation of resources is a sign of failure and a reason for sadness. Many become discouraged when they see that most of the time honesty does not lead to material wealth.

Wise King Solomon looked at all the things that have to do with life and its purpose. In terms of material wealth he said: “Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income. This too is meaningless.” and “as for the rich, their abundance permits them no sleep. ” This is the sad reality of those who live tied to the belief that money is happiness. As we can see, the truth is quite the opposite. Of course, this does not mean that riches are bad. The gift of God is wealth and its enjoyment. The reward offered by the enemy is riches with pain and sorrow. Solomon said, “when God gives someone wealth and possessions, and the ability to enjoy them, to accept their lot and be happy in their toil—this is a gift of God.” Let us therefore pay no heed to the material achievements of those opposed to God and let us look up to him who can really give us a life full of goods and happiness. To God alone be the glory!

Discipline


“If his sons forsake my law
and do not follow my statutes,
if they violate my decrees
and fail to keep my commands,
I will punish their sin with the rod,
their iniquity with flogging;
Psalms 89:30-32

Laws, decrees, statutes and commandments, many try to justify themselves by saying that God’s demands regarding our conduct can not come from him since he is all love. The idea is that all the warnings that God gives us to prevent our misbehaving are invalid and spurious. This is only a cowardly escape from their responsibilities. The word of God is very clear about this: God disciplines his children when they do not meet his demands of holiness. And even if it were true that God does not punish us because He loves us we still have to deal for the rest of our lives with the consequences of sin. Make no mistake, God disciplines those he loves and although disciplinary punishments may seem painful and disproportionate, we are receiving exactly what we need to learn the lesson well. Can you imagine someone trying to make a beast of burden obey his commands using tenderness and sweet words? How, then, we think that God will deal with our stubborn sinful nature if not through a fair discipline?

God is love but he is also justice and truth. He can not overlook sin without providing a rebuke commensurate with the offense. As we often do not realize the mistakes we make, the gentle and loving discipline of our heavenly Father will remind us that we, as his children, must be holy as he is Holy. Let us receive, then, with joy the discipline that God imparts as this is an additional demonstration of the love he has for us. Let us view discipline as a loving and on time correction and not as an angry response to our bad behavior. Discipline is part of our education. We must understand that if our behavior is correct, we would not need discipline. Discipline is a proof that we are children of God. To God alone be the glory!

Lies


A false witness will not go unpunished,
and whoever pours out lies will not go free.
Proverbs 19:5

There was a time when people thought very seriously and carefully before daring to tell a lie. The sense of honor and decency would trump any consideration in favor of deception. In social groups that practice the system of good faith, telling a lie, however small it may seem, has serious consequences for he who tells it for he can no longer function under that system. In social groups where there is not a presumption of good faith, typical of Latin cultures, the only way to prove something is through the presentation of documents that are registered , notarized, certified, apostilled, endorsed, validated, approved, in quadruplicate and so on and so forth. Deception attacks the foundations of good faith and when successful everyone ends up living in insecurity and suspicion. Nothing is reliable anymore and uncertainty takes hold of our lives because we do not find whom to believe.

Fortunately, God took the initiative to establish a way for us to find someone to trust. He made truth himself come to earth to occupy the place that deceit had conquered through the wiles of Satan. The apostle John puts it this way: “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” Every effort we make to establish or preserve the truth brings us closer to our Lord Jesus Christ, who was revealed to the world as truth himself. To the concerns Pilate expressed while questioning the Lord Jesus, before sending him to the crucifixion, the Master replied: “You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” Pilate, as the good Latin man he was, answered with another question, typical of those who do not know the truth because they have never cared to make use of it: “What is truth?” Dear reader, if you want to know what truth is just direct your gaze to the face of the Lord Jesus and you will have the only answer to the eternal and universal question for he is the way, and the truth, and the life. To God alone be the glory!

Cry for help


Break the arm of the wicked man;
call the evildoer to account for his wickedness
that would not otherwise be found out.
The LORD is King for ever and ever;
the nations will perish from his land.
Psalm 10:15-16

The cry of the oppressed stands in the midst of the evil, arrogance and hatred with which the wicked subdues him. The oppressed just thinks about the here and now because domination keeps he from remebering the wonders and marvels with which the Almighty God blessed him in the past and also makes him to cast doubt on the unbreakable promises that the Heavenly Father has prepared for those who love him. Pain and shame make the oppressed think that God has abandoned him and his enemies have won. Tyranny and despotism lead the overwhelmed to believe that the enemy is bigger and more powerful than it actually is and therefore he feels lost. Hope has walked out of his heart and what God can do for him is just a faint memory.

But the cry of the slave of injustice is heard in heaven if only a whisper. The Just and sovereign God waits for the appropriate time to intervene with his strong arm to take charge the situation and to hold accountable those who have acted with injustice and violence against the defenseless. Sentence and punishment are ready to be applied to those who, believing that God has forsaken his creation, lash out in anger and impunity against the children of God. Let us have full confidence in the certain and unbreakable promises of God. The Lord cannot derogate from them because they were made in his name. Let’s place all our faith in the strength and majesty of God and let hope be reborn in our bruised hearts. God will answer our call without fail. To God alone be the glory!

Compassion


Whoever mocks the poor shows contempt for their Maker;
whoever gloats over disaster will not go unpunished.
Proverbs 17:5

One has to have a heart of hard stone and little fear of God to mock those who for various reasons are in the lowest level of the financial income scale. Those who have managed to accumulate a certain amount of money usually look down on those who have nothing when they should rather find ways to help them to escape poverty or at least make poverty a little more bearable. Instead, those fat cats look at the dispossessed with arrogance and disdain . Certainly there are many poor people whose poverty is a direct result of their own wrongdoing, but instead of judging them we should find a way to extend a hand to help them overcome the crisis they find themselves into. Let us for a moment put ourselves in the poor man’s shoes. Would we like that somebody would help us to get out of financial hardship? Absolutely! So our attitude should be supported by the guidance of the Holy Spirit of God and in line with the instructions that ou Master left:

So in everything do to others as you would have them do to you. In fact, this is the law and the prophets.[1]

God rewards those who provide for the needy, so let us not neglect this wonderful opportunity to demonstrate that the love of God is in our hearts. Acting like those who rejoice in the misery of others is to do great disservice to the work and message of God. God takes care of the poor, but he uses us to channel his care for them. Let us be instruments of blessing in the hands of our loving Creator. To God alone be the glory!

[1] Matthew 7:12