It occurred to me this morning as I was sitting in a chapel service listening to the speaker talk about sin that sin makes us stupid. Think back to one of my former posts when I defined stupid as “refusing to use the intelligence that we have.” The Bible is full of examples of stupidity that follows very shortly after sin. In most instances, I guess, it occurs when people are confronted with their sin. So maybe it would be more accurate to say that having our sins brought to our attention makes us stupid.
Take a look with me at just a few examples…
* Cain — In Genesis 4 we find the first example of murder. Cain was reprimanded by God for not bringing an offering that was pleasing to Him. In anger and jealousy, Cain killed his brother, Abel. Not too long thereafter God Himself spoke to Cain and asked him where Abel was. Cain’s response? “I do not know; am I my brother’s keeper?” A contemporary paraphrase reflective of Cain’s attitude might be, “How should I know?” How stupid is that? Not only does Cain know full well that Abel is dead, but he was talking to GOD! Once in a while we might get away with an answer like Cain’s when talking to another human, but God knows. God always knows.
* Aaron — Jumping forward several chapters to Exodus 32 we find Moses on the mountain talking to God. Because he had been up there longer than the Israelites thought reasonable they get testy. They asked Aaron to make them false gods to worship, and he complied. Taking the gold from each of the Israelites’ jewelry, he melted it down and formed it into a golden calf. Verse 4 says that Aaron, “fashioned it with a graving tool and made a golden calf” (ESV). What happened when Moses came down from the mountain and confronted Aaron? Aaron said the people gave him the gold, he put it into the fire, and “out came this calf” (v. 24). Aaron’s version of what happened was that this calf just formed itself out of all the melted gold and jumped out of the fire. Amazing! Amazingly stupid, is more like it….
* David — Probably one of the more famous sins in Scripture is David sleeping with Bathsheba. When he saw her bathing, he called for a servant to bring her to him. This servant reminded David that she was the wife of one of his greatest soldiers. This did not stop David; he had her brought and he slept with her anyway. Stupidity example number one. Then, when Bathsheba informed David that she was pregnant, David had Uriah sent back from the front to report on the war (at least that was the guise David used). He then got Uriah drunk, hoping he would go home to Bathsheba and sleep with her, and then Uriah–and everyone else–could assume the baby belonged to Uriah and Bathsheba. Stupidity example number two. After this proved to be unsuccessful a second time, David sent Uriah back to the battle and had him carry with him instructions that caused his own death. Stupidity example number three.
These are but three Old Testament examples. I could provide many more. You can probably think of many more. But you get the point. When we sin–when we stray off course, and miss God’s mark–we will eventually get caught. And when we do, we have a choice. Will we lie, like Cain? Will we make up ridiculous and completely unbelievable excuses like Aaron? Will we try to cover our tracks so someone else takes the blame, like David? If that fails, will we go so far as to murder someone in an effort to avoid taking responsibility? I hope not.
The much better alternative, the one that God desires when we do fall short, is to acknowledge our sins, confess them, ask forgiveness, and repent. But the choice is yours…and mine. Will we confess and repent…or will we be stupid?