The day of the Lord is near for all nations. As you have done, it will be done to you; your deeds will return upon your own head. Obadiah 15 (NIV).
So, I did a bad thing last night. Just before writing the words of this blog post, I cussed out a woman in a parking lot. I was driving around the local Kroger building, killing time while my wife was buying something inside. I drove up behind a woman, who was parked in the middle of the traffic lane, apparently waiting for someone in the nearby dance studio.
I waited behind her for a few moments. When she didn’t move, I flicked my lights at her car, then waited again. When she didn’t move after that, I honked my horn, and received a rather annoyed look from the man with whom the woman in the car was talking; I gather he was another waiting dance parent. Finally, I rolled down my window and yelled “I can’t get around you,” to which she yelled “too bad. Try anyway.”
So, I did. On my way around her, I believe I had only 1-2 inches between my car and hers and the other cars in the lot. She was smirking at me, and I rolled down my window to call her a, well, uncomplimentary name. She let me know I was number one, and I drove away.
Now, I won’t speak for her; I can only speak for myself. Knowing that, I hope the world doesn’t end right now because, if I was unrepentant about what I said, I’d be one of the people who should dread the day of the Lord. My words (and deeds) deserve damnation. They were unkind and uncalled for, even if the other person was being equally uncharitable or worse.
That’s the way it is with sin. Even the smallest of my sins separates me from God (just like yours do you). Left to our own devices, we deserve an eternity in hell for even the smallest of rebellions. Envying your neighbor’s new car: damnation. Capital murder: damnation. Cheating on your taxes (or your expense report, or your spouse, or on a bet, or the speed limit): damnation. Fibbing to your kids: damnation. You get the drift.
Without Jesus, we’re damned. Obadiah prophesied it, and so did all the other prophets. That’s why they pointed to God Himself delivering us through the man Jesus, whom they didn’t even know yet. Without Jesus, even tiny sin damns us to hell. With Jesus, it’s all forgiven.
I forgive the stranger in the parking lot. If I see her again, I’ll ask for hers.
For further reading: Jeremiah 46:10, Ezekiel 30:3, Joel 2:31, Amos 5:18, Obadiah 16
Lord, please forgive me for my stupid words and actions. They’re sins. And bless the people I’ve wronged.
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