Sweet To Gall

I was reading the other day in the book of Job an interesting passage, Job 20:12-14, “Though wickedness be sweet in his mouth, though he hide it under his tongue. Though he spare it, and forsake it not; but keep it still within his mouth: Yet his meat in his bowels is turned, it is the gall of asps within him.” There is an important concept we would like to develop for a few moments from these verses.

  Doing wicked things is “sweet” while doing it. The Hebrew writer said in Hebrews 11:24-25 “By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;” There is pleasure in doing things that are sinful, this is how Satan can tempt us into doing wrong. It is the enticement or bait that the Devil dangles in front of us to get us to do wrong. And yes it is “sweet” for the moment or for a season.

  But then notice, that our text says that it turns into “gall” i.e. something that is very bitter. Sin has some very bitter consequences that comes after the transgression. I would imagine that Eve found the forbidden fruit very pleasant to eat. But there were bitter consequences to her sin. The shame, the guilt, the curses from God, driven out of the Garden of Eden, yes it was all so very bitter. Think of David, another example of what we are talking about. He partook of the pleasures of sin when he committed adultery with Bathsheba. Yet the consequences were very bitter in his life afterward. The agony of watching their little baby getting sick and then dying, 3 other children dying, his kingdom taken by a heretic son, the betrayal and treachery of a forsaken friend. Yes, the after effects of sin was extremely bitter to this man. Think of the bitter consequences of the sin of Ananias and Sapphira his wife, in Acts 5. Think about the Judas Iscariot and the bitter guilt that followed his sin, that lead him to commit suicide. Remember, sin may be sweet to eat, but it will be bitter as gall in your bowels.

Dan McKibben

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