You are free! Change your clothes.

2 Kings 25:27-30  27 On the twenty-seventh day of the twelfth month of the thirty-seventh year of the exile of Judah’s King Jehoiachin, in the year Evil-merodach became king of Babylon, he pardoned King Jehoiachin of Judah and released him from prison. 28 He spoke kindly to him and set his throne over the thrones of the kings who were with him in Babylon. 29 So Jehoiachin changed his prison clothes, and he dined regularly in the presence of the king of Babylon for the rest of his life. 30 As for his allowance, a regular allowance was given to him by the king, a portion for each day, for the rest of his life. 

King Jehoiachin’s life wasn’t going exactly how he had planned it.  Not too long ago, he was basking in the glory of his anointing as the king of Judah.  He was the boss, the guy in control.  He called the shots and people followed his commands.  But lately it hasn’t gone well.  He found himself in prison, captured by the king of Babylon.  He was nothing more than an ordinary prisoner, unable to live a real life.  He was trapped, neglected, hurting, and hopeless.

Then it happened.  What seemed to be completely out of the blue, the king of Babylon released him from prison.  His sentence was pardoned and he was given a throne in this foreign land.  It was a turn of events that would change his life.  He no longer was kept in a cell under lock and key.  Gone were the days of guards watching his every move.  He was free!  And he changed his prison clothes.  Of course he changed out of his prison clothes – free people shouldn’t be wearing those.

You’ve been set free, too.  Jesus paid the price and your sentence was pardoned.  You are no longer under lock and key, but are free to live your life to the fullest in Him.  Are you still wearing your prison clothes?  Because it’s really hard to live free, when every time you look in the mirror, you see a prisoner.  Change your clothes, people!   Take off the old clothes of the past.  Because people who are dressed like spiritual prisoners end up convincing themselves that they still are.  You’re not!  You are free!  Clothe yourself in Christ Jesus today.  Take on His identity and His righteousness today.  Jehoiachin stopped dressing like a prisoner and so should you.

Oh… that’s what sin feels like

2 Samuel 13:12-15 12 “Don’t, my brother!” she said to him. “Don’t force me. Such a thing should not be done in Israel! Don’t do this wicked thing. 13 What about me? Where could I get rid of my disgrace? And what about you? You would be like one of the wicked fools in Israel. Please speak to the king; he will not keep me from being married to you.” 14 But he refused to listen to her, and since he was stronger than she, he raped her.  15 Then Amnon hated her with intense hatred. In fact, he hated her more than he had loved her. Amnon said to her, “Get up and get out!”

Sin is such a filthy liar.  It tells you that it will be good, that it will satisfy your desires.  It tells you that it will feel good and give you a high.  But it leaves the part out about the giant crash after the high.  Sin is a trick, the ultimate bait and switch.  It promises excitement of life and delivers death.

Amnon learned first-hand the effects of sin.  He had a gross heart to begin with polluted by his uncontrolled thoughts.  He wanted to have sex with his half-sister.  He claimed to be madly in love with her.  But it wasn’t really love, it was out of control lust.  His cousin didn’t help, either.  He gave Amnon the bright idea of faking sickness to get alone with his sister, Tamar.  He trapped her in his room and asked her to come to bed with him.  She gave him an out – she called out his sinful heart and even went as far to saying she would marry him if he wanted her so badly.  But he wouldn’t listen.  Instead, he raped her.

That’s because sin must be satisfied now. It is impulsive and demanding.  It mocks self-control and demands its own way.  But it always disappoints.  In verse 15, it says that after Amnon raped Tamar, he hated her with intense hatred.  He had been duped by his wicked heart.  What he thought was love was really lust and temptation and wickedness.  And he felt the full effects of the let down of sin.  He felt hatred, guilt, and disgust.  That’s what sin will do to you.  It promises satisfaction then condemns you once you pursue it.  It is a false hope, a false happiness, a false everything.  Sin is a fraud and should be arrested on such charges.

So we have two choices:  we can either live with the determination to keep sin behind bars or we can let sin put us behind bars.  What will you choose today?