Those who Love Sin should be moved at least by Fear of God’s Providence being Armed Against Them

December 29, 2021 • 4 min

From The Sinner’s Guide, page 141
By Venerable Louis of Granada

But the punishment of the wicked does not end here. God not only abandons them to their weakness, but scourges them with His justice, so that the eyes which hitherto watched for their happiness now look unmoved upon their ruin.

This God Himself tells us by the mouth of the prophet: “I will set my eyes upon them for evil, and not for good” [Amos ix. 4.]—that is, the providence which hitherto watched for their defence will now work for vengeance on their crimes and disorders.

Even more expressive is the language of Osee: “I will be like a moth to Ephraim, and like rottenness to the house of Juda. I will be like a lioness to Ephraim, and like a lion’s whelp to the house of Juda: I, I will catch, and go; I will take away, and there is none that can rescue.” [v. 12, 14.]

Hear also the prophet Amos, who, after telling us that God will put the wicked to the sword for their sins of covetousness, thus continues:

They shall flee, and he that shall flee of them shall not be delivered.

Though they go down even to hell, thence shall My hand bring them out;

And though they climb up to heaven, thence will I bring them down.

And though they be hid in the top of Carmel, I will search and take them away from there;

And though they hide themselves in the depth of the sea, there will I command the serpent, and he shall bite them.

And if they go into captivity before their enemies, there will I command the sword, and it shall kill them.

And I will set my eyes upon them for evil, and not for good. [Amos ix. 1-5.]

Who can read these words, remembering that they are uttered by God, and not tremble at the misfortune of having an enemy so powerful and so relentless in seeking his destruction? What rest or peace can he enjoy who knows that God’s eyes are upon him with wrath and indignation?

If it be so great a calamity to lose God’s love, what must it be to have His providence armed against you;

To have turned against you that sword which was formerly drawn in your defence;

To have your destruction now viewed without emotion by those eyes which formerly watched so solicitously for your welfare;

To have that arm which hitherto sustained you now stretched forth to annihilate you;

To have that Heart which in the time of your goodness breathed but love and peace for you now filled with projects for your abasement;

To have your shield and defence changed into a moth to consume you, a roaring lion to devour you?

Who can sleep securely, knowing that God is over him like the rod of Jeremias to chastise him?

Who can thwart the designs of God? What power can resist His arm? “Who hath resisted Him,” says Job, “and hath had peace?” [Job. ix. 4.]

Numerous are the passages in Scripture in which God threatened the withdrawal of His providence as one of the most terrible punishments which He could inflict upon the sinner.

“My people heard not My voice,” He says, “and Israel hearkened not to Me. So I let them go according to the desires of their heart. They shall walk in their own inventions.” [Ps. lxxx. 12, 13.]

Abandoned to the desires of their corrupt hearts, they will proceed from disorder to disorder until their ruin is accomplished. What, then, is man without God but a garden without a gardener, a ship without a pilot, a state without a ruler, an army without a general, a body without a soul?

Behold, dear Christian, how God’s providence encompasses you. If you are not incited to fidelity through gratitude for His paternal care, at least the fear of abandonment by Him should impel you to serve Him. For many are moved by threats and the fear of punishment, while they remain utterly insensible to the hope of favor or reward.

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