Bitter Cup (Numbers 5)

             “…be immune to this water of bitterness.”

            There are only a few things in life that produce more temporary pleasure than sin.  Temptation looks as good to us as bait on a hook does to a fish.  As a matter of fact, the most challenging temptations, are the ones that we pursuit the most.

            Why is temptation, so tempting to us?  Temptation is very appealing to all human beings, for the simple reason that we have inherited a sinful nature or “flesh” from Adam and Eve.  Our flesh thrives on sin and finds a perverse pleasure in playing with, and falling into temptation.

            Woe unto us when we sin!  Great is the pain that conquers our soul after we have fallen; after we have bitten the forbidden fruit.  Something similar could the fish that is now trapped on the hook say, after biting the seemingly delicious and innocent bait.

            The pagans or unbelievers enjoy sin to the fullest, but when Christians sin, they get a terrible and bitter aftertaste in their mouths.  The reason is that God has taken the joy out of sin for those who call upon his name.

            The sins that brought so much joy to us before have now become a bitter cup:  Beautiful and inviting on the outside, but deadly and poisonous inside.  It is as if God was allowing us to see (and taste) the bare “hook.”

            If you feel sadness and shame in your heart after you have sinned, rejoice for that is a clear sign that you are a true believer, and that the Holy Spirit dwells in you.  It is the same Spirit the one which brings sadness and conviction that leads to repentance.  The Spirit empowers the believer to love God, and hate sin.

            A. G.

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