By Tope Banso
All our actions have consequences. They have results though, sometimes, they may not be evident immediately. If you don’t see the consequences immediately, or any time soon, don’t be deceived. The consequences will manifest at the appropriate time.
Consequences can be positive or negative. The Bible makes the principle of actions and consequences very clear. You cannot escape, or avoid the consequences of your actions, except by the mercy of God, in the case of negative consequences. Galatians 6:7b says whatsoever a man sows that he will reap. Once there is seedtime, there must be harvest as well (Genesis 8:22).
Be careful about your actions. They are seeds that you’re sowing. The seeds determine the harvest. If you desire a good harvest, sow a good seed. Whoever sows the wind shall reap the whirlwind (Hosea 8:7). If you want good consequences, be sure your actions are right.
In 1 Kings 2:5-9, the Bible mentions three people who had taken three different actions in the past. David, in his last recorded action before he died, told Solomon, his son, who succeeded him, to visit on the identified people, the consequences of their actions.
The first person was Joab. He had killed two army commanders in peacetime. He murdered Abner and Amasa. He appeared to have gotten away with these separate evil acts. It seemed as if there would be no consequence. However, David never forgot his actions.
1 Kings 2:5-6 says, “Moreover you know also what Joab the son of Zeruiah did to me, and what he did to the two commanders of the armies of Israel, to Abner, the son of Ner and Amasa, the son of Jether, whom he killed. And he shed the blood of war in peacetime, and put the blood of war on his belt that was around his waist, and on his sandals that were on his feet. Therefore do according to your wisdom, and do not let his gray hair go down to the grave in peace” (New King James Version).
There were no immediate consequences when Joab took those actions, which upset David at the time. However, Joab never escaped the consequence. Solomon did exactly as his father had said. Joab, who had also supported a wrong candidate for the kingship, Adonijah, instead of Solomon, was killed thereafter (1 Kings 2:28-34). He reaped what he had sown.
The second person David talked to Solomon about in 1 Kings 2:5-9 was Barzillai. However, his action was positive, and so was the consequence. Barzillai had shown kindness to David, supplying him with provisions, after he had escaped from Jerusalem following the rebellion of his son, Absalom (2 Samuel 17:27-29).
David never forgot Barzillai’s kindness, which he had tried to reciprocate while returning to Jerusalem after the rebellion had been put down. He wanted Barzillai to return with him to Jerusalem, but he refused because he was 80 years old. Rather, he asked Chimham to go with David so that David could do whatever he wanted to do for him (2 Samuel 19:31-40). He went with David.
Apparently, David wanted to reciprocate Barzillai’s kindness more after his death. Therefore, he told Solomon, “But show kindness to the sons of Barzillai the Gileadite, and let them be among those who eat at your table, for so they came to me when I fled from Absalom your brother” (1 Kings 2:7 New King James Version).
Be careful what you do to and for people; there are consequences. Barzillai’s children reap the positive consequences of their father’s good deed. What consequences will your actions have on your children?
The third person David talked to Solomon about was Shimei. Unlike Barzillai, he had thrown stones at David and those with him and cursed David after his escape from Absalom (2 Samuel 16:5-13). He never believed David would return to the throne. He insulted David so much that one of his men, Abishai, sought David’s permission to kill him, but David objected.
However, when David was returning to Jerusalem, Shimei came to meet him, and asked for forgiveness. He begged David to spare his life. Again, Abishai, sought David’s permission to kill him. David objected; he instead assured Shimei that he would not die, a promise David kept (2 Samuel 19:18-23).
Nevertheless, before David died, he told Solomon, “And see, you have with you Shimei the son of Gera, a Benjamite from Bahurim, who cursed me with a malicious curse in the day when I went to Mahanaim. But he came down to meet me at the Jordan, and I swore to him by the LORD, saying, ‘I will not put you to death with the sword.’ Now therefore, do not hold him guiltless, for you are a wise man and know what you ought to do to him; but bring his gray hair down to the grave with blood” (1 Kings 2:8-9 New King James Version).
Solomon did what David said. However, he didn’t kill Shimei until he violated the condition, on which he would continue to live. Solomon had given the condition and he promised to abide by it. However, three years later, he violated it. He left Jerusalem in search of two of his slaves, who had run away to King Achish of Gath (1 Kings 2:36-46).
Don’t act thoughtlessly. Always remember that your actions have consequences. If you don’t want unpalatable consequences, avoid unwholesome actions. Once you take an action, positive or negative, you have set in motion a process, which would be incomplete without the consequences! It’s just a matter of time.
Don’t be deceived that the actions you have taken were done in secret, so nobody was aware of it. The consequences could be in the open or in the secret. Matthew 6:6 & 18 say, as regards prayer, that your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.
Warning against the hypocrisy of the Pharisees, Jesus says there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known; whatever you have spoken in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have spoken in the ear in inner rooms will be proclaimed on the housetops (Luke 12:2-3).
Adam and Eve disobeyed God, and ate the forbidden fruit (Genesis 3:1-7). The consequences: spiritual death, the fall of man, the curse and the eviction of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden (verses 14-24).
Cain killed his brother, Abel (Genesis 4:8). The consequences: God cursed him. He became a fugitive and a vagabond on the earth (verse 10-15).
The people of Noah’s day were greatly wicked; every intent of the thoughts of their hearts was only evil continually (Genesis 6:5). The consequence: the flood; they all perished excluding Noah, his family and the animals in the ark (Genesis 6:7, 13; 7:1–24).
Achan was unfaithful concerning the things set apart for the LORD. He stole some of them in the battle against Ai (Joshua 7:1, 20-21).
Achan’s action was done secretly, but the consequences for him were visited on him publicly. The consequences: Achan and his family were stoned to death and their bodies burnt (verses 22-26). Don’t toy with the things separated to God. Distinguish between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean (Leviticus 10:10).
Saul disobeyed divine instructions twice. He offered burnt sacrifice when he didn’t see Samuel within the seven days he had given him to wait (1 Samuel 13:8-9). He also failed to destroy the Amalekites completely (1 Samuel 15:1-3, 7-9, 13-26). The consequence: God rejected him as king; his kingdom was not established forever (1 Samuel 13:13-14; 15:27-29).
Be careful; don’t joke with divine instructions. Don’t disobey the Word of God. It has grave consequences.
David’s sinful actions of adultery and murder didn’t go unpunished, though God forgave him (2 Samuel 11:2-27). The consequences: the sword did not depart from David’s house (2 Samuel 12:7-14). He experienced death of the boy born from the adultery, incest in his family, murder of his first son, Amnon, and rebellion of another son, Absalom. What seed are you sowing?
Ananias and Sapphira lied to the Holy Spirit. They pretended that the amount they gave the apostles was the total money from the sale of their land (Acts 5:1-2). The consequence: the couple died same day. Colossians 3:25 says he who does wrong will be repaid for what he has done, and there is no partiality.
Are you living your life without Jesus, wallowing in sin? There are consequences. Galatians 6:7-8 says, “Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful desires will harvest the consequences of decay and death. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit” (New Living Translation). The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:23).
Repent of all your wrong actions of the past and ask for God’s forgiveness. Where you need to make amends with human beings, and it is still possible, do so. This is restitution. Sometimes you need proper pastoral guidance to do this.
Furthermore, ask for the mercy of God to deliver you from the negative consequences of your actions in the past. He knows where and how to help you.
Henceforth, think in terms of consequences. Be mindful of your actions. “A prudent person foresees the danger ahead and takes precautions; the simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences” (Proverbs 22:3 New Living Translation).
If you’re not born again, repent of your sins today and accept Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. Whoever comes to Him, He will by no means cast out.
PRAYER POINT: Father, I repent of all my sinful actions. Please forgive me. Have mercy on me and deliver me from the consequences of my actions. Henceforth, by the help of the Holy Spirit, my actions shall be guided by Your Word.
This is wisdom for living, and it’s worth sharing. Please share.
(For over 280 in-depth and inspirational messages by T.O. Banso, visit: www.cedarministry.org).
▪︎ Banso, an Abuja-based minister, heads
Cedar Ministry International, and can be reached at email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org,
Tel No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523 WhatsApp No: +2349081295947
▪︎ Featured image: Courtesy of steemit.com
Actions and consequences
By Tope Banso