Yes it was me – I am fully responsible for the recent massacre of ants in our kitchen. I grew fed up with their burrowing in the sugar jar, queuing up to the grocery cupboard and their sneaky infiltration of our fridge! I did try surface spray to dissuade them from coming in but they just changed their route rather than their target. Eventually I went looking for ant poison in the supermarket. I disregarded anything that said non-toxic – I didn’t want to give them bad taste in their moth I wanted them gone. I put down the ant traps on morning before work – the idea is that the ants come to the sweet poison, take it back to the nest and kill off the colony – but I think the toxic concoction was stronger than I realised as they didn’t die neatly back in the nest – our kitchen floor looked like a war zone with dead bodies scattered all over and the odd ant looking like he was trying to retrieve a deceased loved one. Since I swept up the causalities there have not been ants in my kitchen.
I’m not really as harsh as I sound but sometimes we need to take a harsher route in dealing with our problems – coaxing the aunts did not work, a harsher approach was called for. In the same way God did not take a gentle approach in dealing with our sin. His holiness and justice did not allow him just to sweep our sin under the carpet. His approach to dealing with the problem was a tough one – the death of His son Jesus.
Hebrews 2:9-11 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone. 10 In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering. 11 Both the one who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers.
God did not take an easy route in dealing with sin – His solution was costly. It makes we wonder if we shouldn’t be taking a stronger tactic in dealing with sin in our own lives. Personally speaking I think I am quite soft on myself – do I perhaps take God’s forgiveness for granted, do I take His Holiness and dislike of sin to lightly. Should I not be more radical in dealing with sin? Jesus certainly didn’t suggest a softly softly approach.
Mark 9:43-49 If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out, 44 [where “‘their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.’] 45 And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than to have two feet and be thrown into hell, 46 [where “‘their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.’] 47 And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell, 48 where “‘their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.’ 49 Everyone will be salted with fire.
Lord thank you for not avoiding dealing with our sin problem because the only solution was so costly – help me to deal with sin in the same way, even if it may be uncomfortable for me.