Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Damascus, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they have threshed Gilead with threshing instruments of iron:
Nine under par is leading after the second round of the US Open which is ran and the sole province of the USGA. The USGA has a reputation of not liking scores deep in negative relation to par. In the past, the USGA has withheld water from putting greens to make them faster and allowed the rough to grow to torrential heights in order to minimize birdies and maximize bogeys. However, there is an unwritten line between a tough course meant for a Major golf tournament and a course that is unplayable. God has set lines with regard to the sins of man before judgment is cast. Notice the verses of scripture above and the usage of “for three transgressions and for four.” This phrasing is used throughout the Bible in the instances of sin and overindulgence. In Amos, the verse explains that the “three” is the measure of sin and thus the “four” goes beyond to result in God’s wrath. In terms of judgment, the first three transgressions did not go unpunished but would be grouped together once the “bounds of sin” were exceeded by the fourth. Read Genesis 15:16 and Romans 9:22. God did not punish until the symbolic fourth sin was reached. God is forgiving and long suffering. However, consider Romans 9:22, when a sinner finally becomes a “vessel of wrath”. Once the line is crossed, He not only punishes for the fourth abounding sin, but also the first three. Proverbs 30 is full of these types of references. In Proverbs 30:29, it is written, “There be three things which go well, yea, four are comely in going:“. The “three things” seemingly go well, but the fourth grows the fire fiercer. God will not let sin go unpunished. However, he is patient with both the sinner and the backslidden believer. Transgressions ultimately lead to judgment, but can provide “teaching opportunities.” Once the limits of the sin are exceeded, His judgment is complete and just. Let us strive to keep our lives within the bounds of His guidance and will. The closer we walk with God, the more “playable” our lives!