A young boy was walking by a watermelon patch, and had the thought of taking a watermelon for himself. Though his conscience warned against it, looking around and seeing no one, he stole a ripe watermelon and ate it. When he had enjoyed all he could, he said to himself, “Now what am I going to do? Look at this rind and these seeds.” So the boy took a stick, and dug a hole next to a pine tree. He put in the rind and the seeds and covered them up, then put pine needles and leaves on top, thinking all was fine. Two weeks passed, and the boy forgot all about his dishonest deed. However, one day the owner was walking by the tree, and he saw a strange sight: watermelon sprouts everywhere!
Ezekiel warns, “And they shall bear their iniquity- the punishment” (14:10). Al Novak, in his study Hebrew Honey states, “The Hebrew word avon for punishment in this text is the same as the Hebrew word for iniquity. In other words, iniquity is a boomerang, and when it returns to the heart whence it was issued it, does so with a greater force than when it emerged or spouted. Iniquity is a serpent that crawled out of man’s heart, only to return with more venom in its poison bags to syringe into the wounds it left. A sinner forges the tools for his punishment in the black shop of his heart where iniquity burns red like a fire. Then he cries, ‘My punishment is greater than I can stand’” (Genesis 4:13).
Lady Macbeth, in the famous Shakespearean drama, washed her hands after the murder of Duncan. Then, holding them up, she gazed at them in horror and exclaimed, “Here’s the smell of blood still. All the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand.” In The Preacher’s Homiletic Commentary, we read, “Sin is a bitter thing. Bitter in itself and its consequences. It promises pleasure and brings pain; liberty, and brings bondage; happiness, and brings misery. Its misery is personal and eternal, darkness without day, sorrow without relief.”
Legend has it that in Scotland there is in an old church a floor of stone, and that one of these stones stares out at you in blood red from among the gray stones around it. The legend declares that a murder was committed there, and repeated attempts to cover the telltale color have proven fruitless. The legend’s moral is correct. Every sin of the past sends its ghost to haunt the soul of the guilty and unrepentant.
“Sin is, has been, and ever shall be the parent of misery” (Thomas Carlyle).
Dave Arnold, Pastor
Gulf Coast Worship Center
New Port Richey , Florida 34654