So the two of them went on until they came to Bethlehem. And when they came to Bethlehem, the whole town was stirred because of them. And the women said, “Is this Naomi?” (Ruth 1:19 ESV)
Sin disfigures. Sin destroys. Sin devastates. When Naomi returned to Bethlehem she was hardly recognizable. As an Ephrathite she was among Bethlehem’s elite, a member of the aristocratic class. Well respected when she left town, she comes home stripped not only of her self-respect but also visibly bearing the wear and tear of her stay in Moab. Naomi’s former friends didn’t even recognize her. As soon as they saw her the whispering began. “Is this Naomi?”
William Paul Young said, “Sin is its own punishment, devouring you from the inside.” Paul’s now famous words in Romans 3:23 echo Young’s statement: The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Paul used very familiar imagery so that his audience would get his point. Sin always writes you a paycheck and always pays you the same wage: death.
If sin is so deadly, then why do people do it? Why do people choose to live their lives in perpetual sin? Remember the hall of fame of faith? Moses demonstrated both the danger of sin and the delight of God.
By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward. By faith he left Egypt, not being afraid of the anger of the king, for he endured as seeing him who is invisible. By faith he kept the Passover and sprinkled the blood, so that the Destroyer of the firstborn might not touch them. (Hebrews 11:24-28 ESV)
Moses shows us how to avoid sin. He refused to be called the son of Pharaoh. There will be times you will simply have to say “no.” Moses also chose. He chose one option over another. Option #1 was to be mistreated with the people of God. Option #2 was to enjoy the fleeting pressures of sin–indulge the flesh one more time. Third, Moses considered. Moses had to weigh his options. He was set to inherit the treasures of Egypt. He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt. In other words, Moses valued God above his own selfish desires.
Sin is serious. 3 quick questions:
1. What are you allowing right now that you need to refuse?
2. What decision (choice) do you need to make today?
3. What (or who) do you value more than God?