When Two Plus Two Equals Two Times Two: II
Posted on May 3, 2019 by America's Keswick in Freedom Fighters
“You will be like one who lies down in the midst of the sea, like one who lies on the top of a mast.” — Proverbs 23:34 (ESV)
The last time I was with you I had shared some things that I picked up at two different locations within the same week. It was encouraging to know that what gets shared about God’s Word down here at sea level gets shared in the same way up in the mountains. My Monday night Anthropology teacher, Pastor John Sahl, and author, Mark E. Shaw both had shared insights to the effects of sin in our lives through Proverbs 23:29-35. Today I would like to pick up where I left off and that would be at Proverbs 23:32. I also left you with a question to consider, let’s see how we do.
“In the end it bites like a serpent and stings like an adder” (Pro 23:32). You may have heard this story told with various animal characters but it still shows the true nature of what we are dealing with. It always starts with an animal that can swim and one that can’t. The one that can’t always seems to be the one that has a bite or a sting that causes death.
When an agreement is reached between the two, a journey begins to cross a body of water and, as always, halfway through the journey the animal that can’t swim but can kill always bites or stings the animal that is doing the swimming. The question asked is always “Why did you do that? Now we both die.” The reply is always the same, “I’m a (fill in the blank), it’s my nature.” That, my friend, is the consequence of sin.
Now the next two verses cover just what our state of being is when we are in deep with sin. “Your eyes will see strange things, and your heart will utter perverse things. You will be like one who lies down in the midst of the sea, like one who lies on the top of a mast” (Pro 23:33-34). For those of who have been on the addicted side of life may understand this as the “Dr. Jekyll, Mr. Hyde” syndrome. But you don’t have to be an addict to understand that when you entertain a life changing sin, you’re gonna see life from a different viewpoint and you’re gonna do some dumb things in order to fulfill the lust. “But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust” (James 1:14). There are any exceptions when you cross over.
The last verse really expresses what can only be described as just choosing to be a knucklehead, “’They struck me,’ you will say, ‘but I was not hurt; they beat me, but I did not feel it. When shall I awake? I must have another drink’” (Pro 23:35). Even the obvious punishment that one goes through just to have another taste of that forbidden fruit doesn’t seem to faze us when we choose to behave this way. Once again you don’t have to an addict to understand that a life changing sin will do you in…it’s its nature.
A recent Tozer devotional that I read reminded me how severely the Old Testament dealt with disobedience and sin. “Why will you still be struck down? Why will you continue to rebel? The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. From the sole of the foot even to the head, there is no soundness in it, but bruises and sores and raw wounds; they are not pressed out or bound up or softened with oil” (Isaiah 1:5-6). Tozer said that “a dozen pages of quotations equally as strong could be taken from other prophets and psalmists.”
It would be after Jesus Christ entered the scene that the script got flipped and Pharisees got mad for not doing what they should have done to keep sin at bay. Peter, John and Jude would describe the “blazing wrath of God” against sin while the apostle Paul would trace just how sin works through the human system and proved just how, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” (Jer 17:9)
This may be speculative, but sin may be part of God’s plan. We needed to understand true freedom of choice, it shows God’s mercy and grace, it helps us learn good from evil but it really displays just how awful sin is and why a Holy and Righteous God can’t have it standing before Him. When He asked Adam, “Where are you?”, He knew, but Adam didn’t. Let that not be us today. Let’s us stand before, unashamed, and say, “Here I am Lord, use me.” Amen?
Written by Chris Hughes: Chris, a graduate of The Colony of Mercy (11-2003) has been married for 25+ years (Kathy), has a married son (Kevin) and a daughter in college (Karen). He has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008.
Think About This: “Sin is a poisonous weed that throws the whole nature out of order. The inner life disintegrates; the flesh lusts after forbidden pleasures; the moral judgment is distorted so that often good appears evil and evil good; time is chosen over eternity, earth over heaven and death over life.” — Aiden Wilson Tozer
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. – 2 Corinthians 5:20-21
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the doctrinal and theological views held by America’s Keswick.