Sin promises but never delivers

Sin promises but never delivers

Sin always promises so much. When we are considering giving in to lust, we feel that this will lead to pleasure and satisfaction. When we consider giving in to greed, we feel that this will bring us security and contentment.

Yet it is a lie. Sin promises so much but does not deliver on its promises.

This is illustrated vividly in the early chapters of the book of Proverbs. The adulteress seduces young men with offers of love and pleasure (Prov 7:10-20). Everything looks so attractive from the outside and very difficult to resist. Yet, once the young man gives in to the temptation, he finds himself in great trouble. He is like “an ox to the slaughter” and “he does not know that it will cost him his life” (Prov 7:22-23). The reality is never as good as the promise.

In a somewhat oblique way, we see the same thing in 2 Kings 18. When under siege from Assyria, the occupants of Jerusalem are presented with a promise that must have sounded so tempting. If they would only surrender to Assyria, they would be able to live in freedom with their own land, with life and a future (2 Kings 18:31-32). That certainly sounded better than being stuck in a besieged city and facing starvation! Yet, again, the promise was better than the reality. There was no evidence that the Assyrians ever treated those who surrendered with mercy. Giving yourself up to Assyria would mean death, whatever might have been promised. The people needed to remember that it was Assyria making the promise, not God, and Assyria could not be trusted.

How has it turned out for you when you gave in to the temptation to sin? So often, we are filled with regret and disappointment. How many have chased lust to end up in a pattern of pornography that failed to bring satisfaction, or have destroyed a marriage for something far inferior? How many have thought living for pleasure and selfishness would lead to a happy life, when in fact it led to something far worse?

Don’t fall for the lies that sin entices you with. The truth is that you can resist temptation; God will not tempt you beyond what you can bear (1 Cor 10:13). Remind yourself in that moment of temptation that whatever this sin promises, it is not true. It is not worth it. It is a much better life to serve the God who loves you than to head off onto another path.