Today many of our people find themselves in prison, behind bars. Some are imprisoned for a life of crime, and some for a one time mistake. But all for disobedience to the Lord’s commandments. Some may blame society; the system set up by America, but God blames the individual.
Proverbs 1: 22: “How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge?”
The Lord calls us simple and asks our people a question, how long will we love simplicity (stupidity). He then says that we are a scornful people and are fools that hate the knowledge of God’s laws.
Proverbs 1:23: “Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you.”
The Lord promises if we turn at his reproof meaning to obey all his commandments (read 1 Timothy 3:16) he will give us his holy spirit.
Proverbs 1:24: “Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded;”
The Israelites scattered throughout the world have refused to obey the Lord’s
Verse 25: ” But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof:”
Verse 26: “I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh;”
This helps us understand our decayed condition in society.
We shall go through a few examples of why our people fill the jail and prison cells and what can be done to avoid incarceration.
Let’s begin with anger and pride.
Many times we are stopped by police officers whether justifiably or not and rather than give a soft answer as in Proverbs 15:1: “A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievious words stir up anger.” We begin to curse, scream and threaten until we find ourselves in hand cuffs.
Matthew 5: 25: “Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison.”
Verse 26: ” Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing.”
If we are in the wrong, Christ is teaching us how to conduct ourselves in society. Don’t argue fuss or fight, agree that you are wrong and do what is required by the law, otherwise you will pay a higher price: your freedom.
Titus 3: 1: “Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work,”
We must be taught to obey all forms of government whether from the President, the Governor, or the Mayor etc.
Verse 2: ” To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.”
Let’s continue with Lies and gossip.
Many of our youth are mis- educated regarding authority, rather than respect, we are taught to fight the powers that be by either family, friends or music
We are taught first by parents how to speak evil of others laughing and gossiping which causes us to become brawlers; even our sisters. It’s a terrible cycle that must end now. We have yet to learn what it means to be gentle. Showing meekness means to apply God’s commandments unto all.
The ninth commandments says “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.”- Exodus 20:16. That means don’t lie against your neighbor including gossip. That originally explained that we are not to speak evil of anyone. Evil speech has disrupted families and led to many brawls even led to death serving as another tool for imprisonment. Often we want to know who is speaking evil about us to give us cause and reason to fight (to brawl), but the Lord warns us…
Ecclesiates7: 21: “Also take no heed unto all words that are spoken; lest thou hear thy servant curse thee:”
Verse 22: “For oftentimes also thine own heart knoweth that thou thyself likewise hast cursed others.”
If we learned this law when we were young and applied it, how many lives would be preserved today and how many persons would be spared from time in prison.
The Most High warns us not to worry about anyone speaking evil of us because many times you also are aware that you have spoken evil against someone else.
Evil speech, such as lying and gossip has hurt many persons. Although the old expression says [sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me]
The Most High says (evil) words have gotten people killed.
In the Apocrypha Ecclesiasticus 28: 17: “The stroke of the whip maketh marks in the flesh: but the stroke of the tongue breaketh the bones.”
Verse 18: ” Many have fallen by the edge of the sword: but not so many as have fallen by the tongue.”
Back to Titus 3:3: “For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.”
Now the scriptures explains that it’s not hard to repent and obey the commandments in Christ because even the followers of Christ were at one time foolish, disobedient served many different lusts and pleasures, lived in malice and jealousy, they themselves hated everyone and even hated sects of their own people. Even today hatred runs rampant in our communities, from black on black crime to black supremacists racist.
These forms of hatred are additional contributing factors that have also caused us to be imprisoned.
Next is Peer Pressure.
Peer pressure has found its way into the school system today as a result of a child not having a strong foundation in the commandments, he or she gives in and finds his way into another type of prison, a juvenile detention facility.
Exodus 23:2: “Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil;”
Proverbs 16: 29: “A violent man enticeth his neighbour, and leadeth him into the way that is not good.”
Isaiah 51: 20: “Thy sons have fainted, they lie at the head of all the streets, as a wild bull in a net: they are full of the fury of the LORD, the rebuke of thy God.”
The prophet Isaiah prophesies that our sons have lost conscienceness (fainted) of the truth that they are God’s chosen people with a purpose to keep the commandments. As a result they hang on the corners (head) of all the streets like a wild bull (uncontrollable) filled with God’s rebuke because it’s God who is punishing them for disobedience.
Let’s not forget Lust and Pleasure.
Today everyone wants sex with everybody. Sex is good whenever and wherever as long as it makes you happy. However sexual immorality is a reason for sickness and another cause for imprisonment. Let’s explain:
Exodus 20:17: “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.”
We often follow our lust’s, based on the beauty of the thing or person we see, what he or she would be like in bed. A woman will leave her husband because she fell in love with a brother with ‘good’ hair, hazel eyes a smooth talker, a real ladies man. They later find out he’s abusive, a dead beat dad and lives with his parents. Just for example.
Ecclesiasticus 11: 2: “Commend not a man for his beauty; neither abhor a man for his outward appearance.”
Men as well, abandoning their families for a beautiful woman.
Ecclesiasticus 25: 21: “Stumble not at the beauty of a woman, and desire her not for pleasure.”
Relationships are never to be based on sex alone. Lust filled women have often married for the wrong reasons and end up supporting a broke, unemployed, un-ambitious whore mongering man.
Ecclesiasticus 25:22: “A woman, if she maintain her husband, is full of anger, impudence, and much reproach.”
This type of relationship has also ended badly. The woman who married for lust has to take care of her spouse. She’s angry and impudent desiring to get out of the relationship. Some wives have even taken out death contracts on their husbands, to collect insurance money.
Men also, not content with their marriage which spoiled because it was based on lust often entertain co-workers; married women after work. Which leads to more trouble that have gotten some thrown in jail.
Ecclesiasticus 9: 9: “Sit not at all with another man’s wife, nor sit down with her in thine arms, and spend not thy money with her at the wine; lest thine heart incline unto her, and so through thy desire thou fall into destruction.”
Some men also have married whores and prostitiutes, hoping they would change their lifestyle. True repentance through Christ by keeping the commandments is the only thing that can change anyone.
1 Esdras 4: 26: “Yea, many there be that have run out of their wits for women, and become servants for their sakes.”
Verse 27: ” Many also have perished, have erred, and sinned, for women.”
That verse proves that men have died because of women, gotten killed because of women and made many mistakes for women and sinned for the love of a woman. Many men today are incarcerated because they also have lost their wits for a woman. Men and women alike have come home and found their spouse in bed with some one else causing some to put the adulterer and adulteress to death.
Proverbs 6: 32: “But whoso committeth adultery with a woman lacketh understanding: he that doeth it destroyeth his own soul.”
Verse 33: “A wound and dishonour shall he get; and his reproach shall not be wiped away.”
Verse 34: “For jealousy is the rage of a man: therefore he will not spare in the day of vengeance.”
Verse 35: “He will not regard any ransom; neither will he rest content, though thou givest many gifts.”
No amount of money or any gift will save anyone from the fury/rage that comes upon the jilted husband/spouse ending even in bloodshed. Another reason on how some end up behind bars. Temporary insanity.
The above topics and many others’s are a direct result of disobedience to the commandments. Remember that the commandments have laws and statutes that pertain to them, all of which can cause you to be imprisoned if disobeyed.
Let’s sum it up.
Romans 13: 1: ” Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.”
All governments are set up by God almighty regardless if you vote or not.
Verse 2: “Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.”
Anyone who resists the authority of the government they live under, such as America, truly resists the laws of God. Remember we went in slavery as a people because we were disobedient to the laws of the Most High. Now in Christ we must learn to obey all forms of law which do not of course contradict the Most High.
Verse 3: “For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:”
Government rulers are not a terror to anyone today keeping God’s commandments but only to those that disobey. Remember even Pilate had nothing evil to say against Christ in Luke 23:4 because Christ kept all the commandments including paying tribute to Rome ie. Matthew 22:17-22.
Verse 4: “For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.”
Verse 5: “Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.”
We must be subject for wrath, God’s wrath put us under these various governments for disobeying his laws and cast us from our homeland-Israel. We must also be subject for conscience sake so that our mind and lives can be at peace.
6: For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God‘s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.”
Baruch 3:8: “Behold, we are yet this day in our captivity, where thou hast scattered us, for a reproach and a curse, and to be subject to payments, according to all the iniquities of our fathers, which departed from the lord our God.”
Back to Romans 13:7: “Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.”
Proving we are to pay taxes (tribute) and honor certain customs such as standing at attention when a judge enters a court room. Remember we are not commanded to do anything that causes us to break the Lord‘s commandments.
Verse 8: ” Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.”
How many times have fights erupted because someone owed another something and refused to pay it back?
In the Apocrypha, Ecclesiasticus 29: 4: “Many, when a thing was lent them, reckoned it to be found, and put them to trouble that helped them.”
Verse 5: “Till he hath received, he will kiss a man’s hand; and for his neighbour’s money he will speak submissly: but when he should repay, he will prolong the time, and return words of grief, and complain of the time.”
This was obviously written for our learning. Today people owe and refuse to pay back especially among one time friends and how often do we hear these stories ending in murder. This is another cause for incarceration.
Back to Romans 13:9: “For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.”
Verse 10: “Love worketh no ill to his neighbor: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.”
We fulfill all the Most High’s laws when we deal with each other according to what the Lord commands us. That includes correcting our neighbor and guiding them in all God’s Laws.
Verse 11: “And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.”
Verse 12: ” The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.”
Verse13: “Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.”
We have yet to learn to walk honestly as in the day when everyone can see. Here are a few more reasons our people are locked up; rioting such as violent protests, drunkenness- under the influence of alcohol which causes us to do things we would never do while sober, chambering is Partying whether in after hour spots or house parties they often end up in fights and shootings, wantonness is sexual immorality such as rape,sometimes caused by drugs slipped in your drinks, strife and envying which we see daily. Those six elements are prevalent in our communities today and add to more reasons we are behind bars.
Verse 14: “But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.”
We must learn to be Christ-like, obedient to all the Father‘s commandments, without making excuses in our mind to fulfill the lusts we imagine. Our brothers and sisters who are incarcerated must learn to repent and accept their punishment just as we all must do, regardless of whatever situation we are in.