|Elisha calling down fire|
But Elijah replied to the captain, “If I am a man of God, let fire come down from heaven and destroy you and your fifty men!” Then fire fell from heaven and killed them all. (2 Kings 1: 10 NLT)
Three times the wicked King Ahaziah sent an army captain and a group of soldiers to arrest Elisha. Twice they were met by the same fate. A third time they were saved by the captain making a plea for mercy. Sinful disobedience is a form of irrational behavior.
There once was a Principal at a school where I taught who had a favorite saying. When students were in his office for repeated offenses of school rules, he would tell them, “If you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you have always gotten.” Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome, is irrational behavior. When students violated the same rule repeatedly, I often thought they should have been given two punishments. One for the infraction itself, and another for being clueless about the recurrent consequence.
People think they can get away with sin. To do this, they must deny the very nature and character of God. They start to act like God does see their sin, or if he does see, he does not have the ability to do anything about it. Or a third option, he does not care enough to get involved. Three character traits of God are denied here, his omniscience (all-knowing), omnipotence (all-powerful), and love (all-caring). The finite trying to outwit the infinite is an exercise in futility. Repeating a transgression is like a dog returning to its vomit (2 Peter 2:22 NLT), exposing our blindness to the insanity of sin.
Image used with permission by Microsoft.
Ken Barnes the author of “The Chicken Farm and Other Sacred Places” YWAM Publishing