Text: 2 Samuel 24:10-25
It’s a common mistake to underestimate the cost of decisions that one might make. We could use the example of kids who want to buy a pet. They save their allowance until they can afford the purchase price of a dog or cat, but they don’t always think about the ongoing cost of food and vet bills and cleaning up after them. Or consider a teenager who saves up as much money as he can to buy a used car, but once the money is spent, he discovers all the additional ongoing costs of insurance, and gas, and oil changes, maintenance and repairs that are needed to keep it running. A young couple uses up their savings for a meager down payment on their first home, only to find out in their first winter there that they need a brand new furnace that wasn’t in the budget. In all of these cases, someone was more than willing to make a sale, but the buyers wind up in over their heads because they didn’t understand the true cost of their decision.
On this Ash Wednesday, as we look at King David’s example from 2 Samuel 24, we are reminded of how often we are tempted to make decisions that come with a much higher cost than we anticipated. Why would we do such a thing? The devil is a skilled salesman for sin, and he is so adept at laying out the intended upside of sinful choices without going into the details of what those choices might cost us in the end. And we all know his tactics, because we have fallen for them so many times.
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