Monday, June 30, 2003
It was a beautiful morning for a walk. I was on an Indian reservation in Arizona where you don't see much water, so my eyes were drawn immediately to this sparkling little pond down a short little pathway just off the road. The explorer in me, of course, couldn't just walk by, so I started down that little path to enjoy that sun-sparkling water up close. Then, as I approached it, I saw the sign. The only word I really remember was "sewage." Yes, I was about to enthusiastically explore a facility with a sewage pond. You'd be surprised how fast I can retreat when I need to.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Tantalizing Sewage."
It looked so inviting. It was so dirty - and potentially so damaging. Just like so many of the temptations that beckon to you and me, almost daily, it seems. And that's why so many have ended up in the middle of something that looked good but has left them polluted, scarred, ashamed.
After all, sin isn't ugly. Satan's smarter than that. But inside it's a killer that destroys reputations, destroys marriages, destroys trust, destroys love, self-worth, your conscience, and even a relationship with Almighty God. It actually was the experience of the very first man and woman, and it's still our experience today. Genesis 2 and 3, where we find our word for today from the Word of God, gives us a vivid picture not only of the first venture into sin's tantalizing sewage, but of our own, as well.
The Bible says, "The Lord commanded the man, 'You are free to eat from any tree in the garden, but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.'" Chapter 3 records that the devil assured Eve, "You will not surely die." That's the lie we humans have continued to fall for - that you can have the pleasure without the penalty, the goodies without the grief, the tasting without the dying. "The woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom." She and Adam then ate what God had forbidden. They hid from the Lord (which is actually a ridiculous prospect) and "the Lord God banished them from the Garden of Eden to work the ground..."
They gained nothing good and lost most of what matters. Just like us when we believe sin's outward appeal and we touch what we should never have touched. Right now there's something that's out of bounds, according to God, but it looks good. It may be a person, or a relationship that's out of bounds, a business deal, or some step up that requires compromise. Maybe it's a lie that could bail you out or get you ahead; something that looks better than who or what you've already committed yourself to. Maybe it's material you should never be looking at.
But it's sewage, no matter how inviting it looks. Sin has this way of fascinating us first, and then assassinating us. The sin-way promises but it doesn't deliver - it promises pleasure and ultimately delivers pain. It promises freedom and ultimately delivers bondage. Sin tells you you'll get something good when you end up losing the things that really matter. Sin promises heaven and gives you hell. Don't fall for that tantalizing sewage. There's nothing good there.