Monday, April 7, 2008

Spiritual direction: When God smites

If you read the entire Bible with any amount of seriousness and attention you will notice that God does not turn his "smiting" on and off like a switch at your behest. If you study the examples where God has repeatedly warned and then smites sinners, you will notice the smiting does not always take place at the time of the sin, and in fact, it rarely does. This is because God gives a lot of chances for people to heed warnings and change. However, sinners put actions into motion that don't stop the instant that they, in theory, "stop" a particular sin. Sinners may receive a smiting years after what the ill they have wrought has taken place. This is because their smiting tends to arrive due to their own or fellow sinners' actions. God has repeatedly given humans free will and so he does not send thunderbolts from heaven to smite a sinner. Instead, God lets the sinner suffer the consequences of his or her own offenses and sins. That is why sinners are such creeps, because their own actions take down themselves and others. So the point of this brief message is to tell you all that if you are doing something that you very well might get a God smiting over, you ought to think about stopping it a good five to ten years in advance of when you really hope you won't get a smiting. You could very well receive dire punishment once you cynically "decide to stop the sin" years after you think you control the "smite" faucet. I'm seeing a lot of mouthy people from the 2000-2001 era now getting their just desserts (and innocent or quasi-innocent people also harmed by the forces the sinners set up all those years ago).

Another point. Even when God tells a person, for example King Solomon, that he has sinned to a grave degree and will be punished, sometimes God defers punishment for the next generation also. Modernists might boo hoo that this is unfair, but it is not. The wealth of the sins of the fathers and mothers are enjoyed by those who accept the heritage, and so it would actually be more unfair to only punish the original perpetrator of the sin and not the ones who knowingly benefit materially from the sins. When Solomon sacrificed to idols he did so for the "benefit" of his family and his heirs, including the material gains derived. Thus "smiting" reaches across beneficiary generations. "Stopping" a particular sin does not turn the mechanism of smiting and justice "off." Catholics used to understand this better than most, but even they have forgotten this truth.

Wise up.