God’s Response to Sinful Behavior

Genesis 20:1-16

Despite appearances, evil men are not in control of our world; God is. How does our sovereign Lord respond to sin?

At times He allows sin to run its full course. After the exodus, He promised Israel abundant blessings if they were obedient (Psalm 81:10). When they persistently disobeyed, He “gave them over to the stubbornness of their heart” (Psalm 81:12). God remained in control but chose to let the nation experience the consequences of continued rebellion. He deals with individuals the same way (Rom. 1:24, Rom. 1:28). Apart from Jesus Christ, the end result of sin is eternal death (Rom. 3:23).

At other times, God stops the sinful behavior completely. When Abraham lied about Sarah being his wife, the king of Gerar brought her into his household for himself. Abraham’s lie—“she is my sister”—put the king at risk. God intervened and prevented any further sinful action from taking place. For believers, God limits the intensity, scope, and time we have to deal with a particular temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13). For those who have rejected Jesus Christ, there is no such promise.

To believe the heavenly Father is sovereign, we must embrace certain truths: His thoughts and ways are superior to ours (Isa. 55:8-9); He always keeps His promises (2 Corinthians 1:20); His perfect character is unchanging (James 1:17); and He has control over everything, including times of blessing and disaster (Isa. 45:7).

The next time you are confronted with the effects of sin, remember these important truths, and look to God with trusting faith.

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