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Saying No

Read Psalm 38:1-8


Nobody can deny there is pleasure in sin. If there were no pleasure in sin, nobody would fall into temptation. The Bible speaks about the pleasures of sin for a season. What season? The season of sowing. The pleasure of sin comes when we sow, but the pain comes when we reap. This is why David gave such a vivid description in Psalm 38 of what we suffer when we sin. "O Lord, do not rebuke me in Your wrath, nor chasten me in Your hot displeasure!" (v. 1). He went on to say that God's arrows were piercing him and His hand was pressing down on him. All of his bones hurt. His iniquities had gone over his head as if he were drowning in a sea of sin. "My wounds are foul and festering," David said. "I am troubled, I am bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long" (vv. 5, 6).


Why did God put this description in the Bible? Why does David compare the consequences of sin to being pierced by arrows, being pressed by His hand, sickness, a heavy burden, drowning, smothering and no peace? Because God wants us to hate sin. If for no other reason, the consequences of sin ought to warn us against sinning. The next time you're tempted, look past the pleasure to the pain and learn to say no. Remember what David says in this Psalm. You say, "I'm a Christian. I can sin." No, you can't, because you'll reap the same consequences. God chastens His own, for He wants us to walk in holiness.


Let's encourage other people to say no. Let's live in such a way that we don't encourage other people to sin. Also, let's have sympathy for those who have fallen. It's sad to reap the consequences of sin--even forgiven sin. David knew that. So let's encourage others and try to restore them. Let's also love the Lord more. Why? Because He went through all of these consequences on the cross for us. He felt the burden. He felt the arrows. And He did it so that we could be forgiven.


David greatly suffered for his sin. Those who sin reap its consequences. God wants us to hate sin for what it can do to us and for what it did to His Son. If you are harboring unconfessed sin in your life, confess it and ask for God's forgiveness. Next time you're tempted to sin, remember David's description of the consequences.


Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group (bakerpublishinggroup.com). Used by permission. All rights to this material are reserved. Material is not to be reproduced, scanned, copied, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission from Baker Publishing Group.

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