Punished by their sins

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There are times when God does not need to personally intervene in human affairs in order for sinners to be punished for their sins. He has already set up a system whereby the consequences of a person's disobedience can come back upon them and punish them for their misdeeds. King Solomon wrote of this phenomenon in the book of Proverbs.

22. His own iniquities shall take the wicked himself (they will be punished by them), and he shall be held with the cords of his sins. 23. He shall die without instruction; and in the greatness of his folly he shall breathe his last (Proverbs 5:22 - 23, HBFV throughout. See also 13:21 and 21:7)

There are at least four Biblical people who were punished by the consequences of their sins that ultimately caught up with them. The first person is Abimelech, one of Gideon's many sons, whose lifelong desire was to be 'great' (Judges 9). His convincing of his mother's household that he should be their leader led him to receive money from the people of Shechem. The money was used to hire "vain" (empty and worthless) men to follow him. Traveling to his father's house at Ophrah, he had SEVENTY of his brothers killed.

After 'ruling' like a king for three years, God allowed a spirit of contention and bitterness to come between Abimelech and those in Shechem. Citizens of the city formed an army and fought him but lost. After defeating the citizen army Abimelech punished Shechem by MURDERING all of its people (verses 40 - 59). He then occupied the city of Thebez. His sins against the people finally caught up with him when he tried to burn a tower in the city. One of the citizens hiding in the tower, an unnamed woman, saw the king stand near the building and proceeded to drop a millstone on his head! With his skull broken by the stone, Abimelech had his armorbearer end his life (Judges 9:53 - 54).

How many sins are unpardonable?
Why was David punished for taking a census?
The battles of Gideon map
Who are the most EVIL people in Scripture?

Athaliah is called in the Bible "that wicked woman" (2Chronicles 24:7). She had a notorious upbringing, as her parents were the evil King Ahab of Israel and Queen Jezebel. She married Jehoram, who reigned as King of Judah from 853 to 841 B.C. She allowed her sons to pillage the temple in Jerusalem and offer its sacred objects to the pagan god Baal. After her son King Ahaziah of Judah died after ruling only one year she assumed the throne of Judah to continue her sins.

As Queen, Athaliah continued to multiply her sins against God by killing all the male descendants of the royal household of David EXCEPT a child named of Joash (2Kings 11:1- 2, 2Chronicles 22:10 - 11). After reigning for six years as the only female to rule either Judah or Israel, she is punished for her gross sins when the palace guard struck her down (2Kings 11:3 - 16).

Haman was an Amalekite who was elevated to the powerful position of Persian prime minister under the reign of King Ahasuerus. Haman's pride and vanity got the better of him when he filled himself with anger when a low-level Jewish official (the Jews at the time were captives of the Persian Empire) named Mordecai refused to give him the kind of 'divine adoration' he demanded (Esther 3:1 - 2). He soon begins to seek ways to bring about the destruction of ALL Jews in the Kingdom.

Haman is so zealous to destroy the Jews that after lying to the King regarding their loyalty he offers to PAY OUT OF HIS OWN POCKET for their total annihilation! After getting the King to agree to the slaughter (Esther 3:8 - 11) Haman has gallows specially built in order to hang Mordecai (5:10 - 14). Mordecai, however, with the help of the King's wife Esther (who was a Jew whom Mordecai raised after her parents died) thwarts Haman's plans and saves the Jews. In one of the greatest ironic moments in history, Haman himself is punished for his sins when he is executed on the gallows when the king discovers his evil plot (7:10)! Jews to this day yearly celebrate the deliverance from extinction through Esther and Mordecai by the festival called Purim.

Jezebel was the notorious and devilish wife of Israel's King Ahab. She worshipped false gods and encouraged others to do evil. She lived more than 14 years after Ahab died and certainly seemed to have gotten away with not being punished for her sins. One day, King Jehu of Israel entered the city where she lived. After she, from the window of her tall residence, made a nasty comment to the king he had some eunuchs throw her out the window! The evil queen was immediately killed (2Kings 9:30 -33). Instead of being buried, the dogs of the city tore her up and ate her corpse, an act which was prophecied to happen because of her sins (see 1Kings 21:23, 2Kings 9:1 - 10).

Additional Study Materials
What are the seven deadly sins?
What does Proverbs say about being punished?
What exactly is a Eunuch?

Punished by their sins
Bibliography

Holy Bible, a Faithful Version


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