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The Blue Letter Bible

Don Stewart :: How Has God Punished Sin?

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Don Stewart

Sin has not only made God angry, it is something that God has judged. Before sin entered the universe God established unchangeable laws. One of these laws was that sin had to be punished. When sin entered the world God proceeded to punish it. The Bible gives us examples of God punishing sin.

God Has Sent Natural Disasters

Sometimes He judged sin by sending a natural disaster.

Now when the people complained, it displeased the Lord; for the Lord heard it, and his anger was aroused. So the fire of the Lord burned among them, and consumed some in the outskirts of the camp (Numbers 11:1).

God Has Sent Disease

On another occasion God judged sin by sending disease upon those who offended Him.

So the anger of the Lord was aroused against them, and he departed. And when the cloud departed from above the tabernacle, suddenly Miriam became leprous, as white as snow (Numbers 12:9,10).

A great example of God's judging of sin is the sending of the nation Israel into the captivity at Babylon. Because of their continued sin God sent them into a seventy-year captivity.

He Is A God Of Mercy

But the judgment of sin is something that God does not enjoy doing. God would rather grant mercy. In the three cases mentioned God showed His great mercy on the people that He had judged.

After fire was sent into the camp of the children of Israel, Moses prayed to the Lord and the fire was quenched.

Miriam was also cured of leprosy because of prayer on her behalf.

The children of Israel were allowed to return to their homeland after the seventy years of Babylonian captivity.


God has judged sin in the past but that He would rather grant mercy to those who ask His forgiveness. Judgment is His strange work.

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