Jeremiah 5:25 Your iniquities have turned away these things, and your sins have withholden good things from you.
I’m sure you’ve noticed that in the last year the price of everything has increased. As of right now in our state of California, gas is hovering around $6 a gallon. It seems that our politicians have no clue as to how to keep the cost of things down. They are more in the business of blaming others than finding solutions.
I remember early on in my Christian life I heard the statement, “Sin will take you farther than you want to go, keep you longer than you want to stay, and cost you more than you want to pay.” Of all the things that come with a heavy cost, probably the heaviest is sin. Of course, without the Lord Jesus Christ, the ultimate cost of sin would be an eternity in Hell. But thankfully, the Lord Jesus Christ came and paid for our sin so that by our simple faith in His finished work on the cross, we can avoid that heavy payment.
Although we may not pay an eternal penalty for our sins, we still must deal with sin and its consequences in our everyday life. Just because our sin is forgiven does not mean that it still does not come with a heavy cost. But there are many facets to this cost that we must consider. There is much more to sin’s cost than the typical consequences that we associate with it.
We like to focus on all the worst-case scenario costs of allowing ourselves to get caught up in sin. Whether it’s the crippling addiction to sin, the tragic loss of relationships, some loss of opportunity, or one of the practical consequences that society may lay on us, these types of costs are what we usually think of. But there is much more to the cost of sin than just these easily recognizable ones. There’s one glaring cost of sin that we typically don’t think of.
God states in Jeremiah that our iniquities, our sins, have withholden good things from us. The word “withholden” means to keep back or deny. What God is saying is that the greatest and most tragic cost of sin is that it keeps us from experiencing all the good things, all of the blessings of God, that He wishes to bestow upon us. We look at the cost of sin as being the negative consequences that we experience, as opposed to considering all of the positives that we lose as a result of our sin. We don’t realize that sin keeps God from being able to bless us and do good to us in a way that He so desperately desires to.
There are many examples of this throughout the Bible:
• Did not Saul lose the blessing of the kingdom, and it wasn’t passed on through his family line, because of his sin of pride?
• Did not Samson lose out on better quality and longevity of life because of his unchecked passion for women?
• Did not Ananias and Sapphira lose their lives and the opportunity to be a blessing in the early church because of their desire to both retain prosperity and gain notoriety at the same time?
We’ve all heard the illustrations of those who walked away from God into a life of sin and paid for it, some even by an early death. Those make for great illustrations, but what about the real, more consequential loss? What about the loss of having the type of marriage and spouse that would bring joy to your life? What about the loss of the type of children and family that are our daily blessings? What about the loss of fulfilling God’s will for your life and experiencing the great joy that comes from serving the Lord?
Yes, sin indeed comes with a cost. But the greatest cost may not be what we think it is. The highest cost of sin is all that we lose, the good that God wants us to have. Let us live in such a way that we can experience what God has for us without blocking His channel of blessing. And before we go, let’s think of this also in the terms of our country. We all pray for God to bless America, but that may not be the proper prayer. We should pray that America can become blessable again.
Our children are not going to have that “summer jump” by accident.
The Bible compares the man that does not rule his spirit to a city that is broken down and without walls.