“…cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you and you shall eat of the plants of the field” (Genesis 3:17-18).
Sandy and I spent the week surrounding the Fourth of July at our daughter and son-in-law’s ranch in Southern Utah. Besides feeding livestock and building fence one of the chores that I had the privilege of doing was to weed my daughter’s garden. Weeding a garden is a wonderful lesson about life. One of my granddaughters assisted me in this chore and I was able to speak about some of the wisdom that is found in the performing of that chore.
When weeding the garden it is important to pull the weeds up by the roots, for if you do not, you will be dealing with the same weed next week. And, the smaller the weed the easier it is to pull up by the roots.
Weeds, thorns, thistles, lambs quarter, redroot, cockleburs, milkweed and the like, are part of the consequence of Adam’s sin. Not a weed grew on planet earth until Adam disobeyed God. Weeds continue to be symbolic of sin.
Like young and tender weeds, that are easily dealt with and pulled, sin, in its infancy, can be dealt with in a fairly easy manner. When God shines His light on our sin, we have the privilege of dealing with that sin is by acknowledgement, confession, and repentance. But, if said sin is entertained and tolerated, it grows roots that make it increasingly hard to confess and repent thereof.
Most individuals, who are in bondage to one sin or another, can look back to a time in which the sin could have been dealt with in a semi-painless way that would have not resulted in bondage. But the longer the sin is ignored or tolerated, the deeper the roots grow, and when one eventually realizes the bondage that they are under, confession and repentance are usually accompanied by much pain.
Last Sunday, in his message from the Book of Jonah, Pastor Jesse emphasized the repentance of Jonah and the people of Nineveh. Repentance is the act of responding to things in our hearts that God identifies as sin and then calls us to cast them aside. If we respond obediently the first time that God calls, the sin is dealt with in a fairly easy manner. But, if we refuse God’s call and continue to entertain that besetting sin, we will soon find out that it becomes our master and we become its slave. Unattended, the roots of sin, like weeds, grow deep and then choke out the vitality and fruitfulness of our spiritual lives.