God’s punishment

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God’s punishment                

Genesis 3:14-15 “So the Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, you will be punished. You are singled out…to be cursed.”

Extra Reading: Genesis 3:1-24

Punishment comes in three forms. First, there is the punishment a parent gives out to a child, which is intended for discipline and correction. Then there is the punishment of natural consequences. If a child touches a hot stove, the experience of being burnt generally is sufficient punishment. Finally, there is punishment that is vengeful. When a nation responds to a perceived injustice by sending an army to wipe out a village of the offending country, it is punishment with a vengeance. All three are represented in the pages of the Bible, and all are in response to human sin and rebellion. Thankfully, Scripture teaches a fourth approach to punishment. The Lord Jesus Christ, through his atoning death on the cross, has absorbed the punishment we deserve. The serpent was punished forever for tempting Eve into sin; Cain’s punishment was living with the guilt of murdering his brother. The severity of these punishments was designed to impress upon God’s people the seriousness of sin. Solomon asks this question, “Why should a living man complain about the punishment of his sins?” (Lamentations 3:39). When we sin before God, we must expect him to punish us. Complaining won’t help. Hosea says, “The days of punishment have come.” (Hosea 9:7).

God will punish evildoers. In Jeremiah 9:9 he asks a question, “Shall I not punish them for these things?” “I will punish them for their sin” says the Lord (Exodus 32:34). God views the impact of sin on human life very seriously. The Lord knows how to keep the unrighteous under punishment (2 Peter 2:9). He also punishes kings. He said, “I will punish the king of Babylon (Jeremiah 25:12). God also uses judicial punishment where he sends governors to punish evildoers (1 Peter 2:14). The Bible states that rulers do not bear the sword for nothing (Romans 13:4). In the olden days corporal punishment was applied at schools and there was order. Death penalty was a form of punishment used in the Old Testament. “Whoever sheds man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed (Genesis 9:6). Democratic governments of this world have changed all that.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, teach us to know that you punish sin. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen!

Rev. Samuel N. Modise

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