“The hope of the righteous shall be gladness: but the expectation of the wicked shall perish.” (Proverbs 10:28)
Jamie and Uncle Mike climbed into the big red Ford F150. The tackleboxes were between them on the seat. As Uncle Mike drove them to the lot on the lake where their favorite fishing alcove was, Jamie opened up one of the tackleboxes to take a look at the lures. There were all kinds, some of them knobby or slimy, some feathery, some glossy. And all of them were colorful! Jamie especially liked the brand new jitterbugs Uncle Mike had bought down in Florida last month. As the truck rumbled to a stop in the gravel by the boat ramp, Jamie had a bright idea. While Uncle Mike got busy cranking down the fishing boat, Jamie got busy picking out the fanciest, smoothest, reddest (because red was his favorite color) jitterbug for himself. Without a sound, Jamie shoved the lure in his jeans pocket and went out to help Uncle Mike put the gear in the boat.
All morning, they shared the tackle, and Uncle Mike never seemed to realize that the red jitterbug was gone from the box. They caught a couple white bass but threw them back in the lake before heading back to Uncle Mike’s cabin for lunch. They were laughing about something as they jumped back into the truck, and Jamie sat down hard. Every fish in the lake and every bird in the sky probably heard the scream that came out of Jamie’s mouth a second later. His fingers got all bloody as he pulled and tore at his pants pocket to get the hooks of the stolen red jitterbug out. Instead of going to lunch, they had to get Jamie to the hospital for a tetanus shot and for a couple of stitches where he had sat down on the lure.
Sometimes sin seems so harmless and inviting. We go after things we want, in spite of warnings and danger. We fall for temptations, just like unsuspecting fish that go hungrily after bait, even though the bait hides a hook. Jamie was tempted to steal Uncle Mike’s red jitterbug lure because it was shiny and colorful and something he wanted to have just for himself. Was it worth it in the end, though? Jamie’s plan brought him a lot more hurt than happiness. Not only did he suffer physical pain and a lot of embarrassment, but his actions also disappointed his Uncle Mike and spoiled the whole fishing trip.
Jamie had high hopes of being the owner of a glossy red jitterbug without paying for it. But he didn’t get away with it. The Bible teaches that God is holy. Not only is it right to obey His Law, but it is also better for us! God is the only Source of true, lasting joy. In His grace, He teaches us (sometimes painfully) that nothing else, especially not sin, can satisfy us. Our hopes and expectations should be in Him.
Only God can satisfy the desires of our hearts.
» Have I been fooling myself that something or someone can make me happier than being right with God?
» Why does sin sometimes “look good” to me?
» How can remembering that my hope is in God help me as I fight against temptations to sin?