Reward or Consequence

“Can two walk together, unless they are agreed” (Amos 3:3)?

Chapter 3 of Amos speaks to the authority of the prophet’s message and he prophesied about Isreal’s disobedience. God made a covenant with Israel and brought them out of Egypt using signs and miracles. Despite God’s grace and mercy, the people rebelled against God and his prophets. God has a principle which precedes judgement and recompense. “Surely the Lord God does nothing, Unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets” (Amos 3:7). God always sent a word of caution to his people, with an opportunity for repentance. I had a conversation with my sister the other day about parenting. She spoke about the importance of boundary setting with children and explained the importance of following through on a caution, when a child oversteps a boundary.

She said that when a parent gives a warning and promises a punishment, if the warning is not heeded, then not following through on a punishment, can send the message to a child that they are allowed to cross that line again. Following through on a punishment helps to reinforce a boundary and allows a child to know what can be expected. God is our father and the bible speaks about godly chastisement, rewards for obedience and consequences for disobedience. Like a parent, God will send a warning when we have crossed a boundary and are living in sin. “He who is often rebuked, and hardens his neck, Will suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy” (Proverbs 29:1). The difference between God and most earthly parents is that he is long suffering.

God can spend years warning people about error before their final destruction. Not all sin leads to ultimate destruction, but there are consequences for sin. Many people are living under the grace of God and we all have sinned. We daily make confession for sin so that God can cleanse us. It is living in a state perpetual disobedience which leaves us open for destruction. It is not God who destroys, but living in disobedience means that we are outside of his protection. We each have to examine ourselves to see if we are in the faith. It is much easier to identify and point out error in others, than it is to reflect on our own wrong doing.

“Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified” (II Corinthians 13:5). God is not the author of confusion and when he speaks, he means what he says. None of his words will return to him void and he does not want destruction for anyone. “Say to them: ‘As I live,’ says the Lord God, ‘I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why should you die, O house of Israel’” (Ezekiel 33:11)?


6 thoughts on “Reward or Consequence

  1. “…That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
    For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
    For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace…”
    Romans 8:4-6

    Liked by 1 person

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