Unforeseen Consequences

2 Kings 17:22
For the children of Israel walked in all the sins of Jeroboam which he did; they departed not from them;

One decision can have very far-reaching effects.  The sin of Adam and Eve carried down to every generation after them with the sin nature entering the seed of mankind.  At the time they made their decision, it affected just them and the world they lived in, but ultimately it affects everyone who is ever born.  The sin of Jeroboam worked the same way.  It seemed like such a good idea at the time, but it was a thorn for Israel for generations and was the cause of judgment that God brought upon them.  In the beginning, that one decision affected just the family of Jeroboam, but the kings of Israel would follow in his footsteps for years, bringing destruction upon themselves, as well.

Perhaps we also have things in our lives that have troubled us for a long time, and ultimately, we can probably trace them back to one poor decision.  We can never foresee all the results and consequences from the choices we make, and so we must be very careful not to perpetuate sin from generation to generation or pass along the wrong things to others because of one bad choice.  The effects may reach to places we could have never imagined.  Because even things that at first affect only us can become stumblingblocks to other people along the way.

Sadly, it seems like the nation of Israel during this time was more faithful to Jeroboam’s idols than they ever were to God.  They showed such diligence in following this wrong path for so long.  Along the way, some had refused to bow to these false gods and follow these false ways and even tried to destroy them, but they were never fully eradicated.  And we must be on guard in our lives against things that we can remain faithful to while neglecting the one true God.  Even things that aren’t wrong in themselves can be harmful if we allow them to replace God in our lives or draw us away from Him.

A lot of times, we like to think that the things we do and the choices we make won’t affect other people.  We may think we’re only hurting ourselves and neglect to see how some sin is being passed down in our family or among people we are close to.  And often the consequences of bad decisions stretch far wider than we would have thought possible.  So let’s be careful to always strive to make right, God-honoring choices, and may we also forsake anything we’ve been clinging to that hinders our walk with God.