Hebrews 11:25 – [Moses] chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time. (NIV)
As I was coming around the bend in our street from walking my son to school, I could see the front window of our house. The sheer curtains in the living room were astir. I saw a collie's head peek out and then disappear after glancing in my direction. "Oh, oh," I thought, "What are they up to?"
As I entered the front foyer and cocked my head around to view the living area, I saw toffee wrappers scattered all over the rug. No toffees. No dogs. Just wrappers everywhere.
After pulling off my boots, I walked through the kitchen to the cellar stairs. At the bottom of the stairway sat three very guilty-looking dogs. In fact, the puppy was valiantly still chewing and trying to swallow a mouthful of ooey, gooey English toffees.
The dogs all knew that the toffees were off-limits. Obviously however, the temptation won the day, as they had wrestled the lid off the tin and helped themselves — and oh! how good those candies tasted! The next day, however, if dogs know anything about regret, I'm sure that's exactly what they were doing — regretting their folly. What had tasted so good at the time was now wreaking havoc with their digestive systems.
Have you ever noticed how the pleasures of sin can taste so pleasant for a short time? I don't expect there are many, if any, of us around who, if we are honest, can answer anything but "Yes" to such a question. When all is said and done, however, how we wish with all our heart that we had listened to and obeyed God and His ways.
For just as I had tried to teach the dogs to stay away from things which I knew would be harmful to them, God's words of wisdom are for our good, not our woe. Since time began, however, people have sought to break the laws of God, only to discover that they only break themselves upon them. And though God is merciful and His grace is sufficient to forgive and cleanse even the worst of offenders, the actions of sin always bring their own unique consequences to our lives.
The pleasures of sin can taste good for a season. But the pleasures of righteousness last for eternity. Moses chose well. He shunned the short-lived pleasures of instant gratification for the eternal promises of God and was not disappointed. Which will we choose today: the short-lived pleasures of instant gratification or eternal joy?
Prayer: Father God, bless us with strength and wisdom to choose wisely today, as we will have many decisions to make. May our thoughts, words, and actions line up with Yours, that the eternal pleasures of righteousness may be first and foremost in all our choices. In Christ's name, we ask. Amen.