Sometimes people are driven to sin because of their circumstances. This does not excuse their crime. If they did it, they are guilty. If they stole for their families need, then they are guilty, but society is even more guilty for placing them in the position they are in. Responsible as they should be, the thief will eventually pay the price, perhaps all that he owns, and even place his family in even more dire straits.
The adulterer commits an even more corrupt crime, for it is merely to satisfy lust, not a valid need of ones self, or ones family. It is a selfishness for ones own satisfaction. Taking from anothers property, a spouse, belonging to another. Certainly if the other person and you are not married to each other, if you are married to and cheating on your own spouse, then that other person belongs to another or will at some point in the future belong to another person. You are in effect stealing the spouse or future spouse of another, but not because of a real need you have like hunger or shelter. You are taking from another to satisfy your selfish desires only and nothing more.
The thief of food may pay a price, but he should receive some pity for his situation. Not every one is lazy and therefore starving because of their laziness. Life can place any one of us in a position of poverty in the blink of an eye. Never think that you are above poverty. If arrogance lifts you up on a pedestal, God can certainly jerk it out from beneath you and bring you crashing down in an instant.
But the one who takes, or flirts with sin out of sheer lust will destroy his soul. The thief looses some property. Property can always be replaced. But the loss of ones soul can be even more devastating, even to the point of death.
So what is Gods response to the sinner? The practicing sinner, the one who does not necessarily operate in life as a thief or an adulterer, but operates in life outside Gods will and lives under the control of the sin nature. To that person is the grace of time for recovery, as with all who are negative toward God.
But then time will run out and Gods vengeance will be executed. The sinner, the carnal person will yell out in agony. He will pray for the hurting to stop. He will plead for relief. He will cry alligator tears. He will yell at God, ‘ How can a loving God do this?’. He will blame God. He will curse God. Again he will come full circle and plead for an easing of the pain, for the termination of the punishment. ‘I’ll never do it again’.
Gods response? No offerings accepted. No ransom, no promises, no pleadings will turn Gods heart. Why. Because these gifts, these promises are done from the source of the flesh, from the sin nature, not from fellowship. The sinner, the wicked, the carnal person never learned the rules for spiritual growth, never learned the rules for fellowship, never learned the rules for prayer. So their words fly out of their mouths and drop straight to the ground totally useless.
God does not forgive unless there is confession. Without confession there is no blotting out of the sin, no restoration to fellowship. Christ went to the Cross and every sin was judged. But only judged, so that we would not be judged. Forgiveness is an issue from within Gods family, an issue of discipline or fellowship. When we confess our sins to God the Father ( privately from within our own souls – nobody else’s business), then God places us back into fellowship. No emotion involved. He forgives, forgets, blots out our sin. If we are under discipline for our sin, it will be turned into blessing. The suffering may continue or diminish. Either way your responsibility is to focus on God and your Bible study, not on your suffering. God will take care of that in due course.
Proverbs are good advice. Advice to be learned, understood, and applied for your benefit. Proverbs are warnings. Warnings of doom, of misery, of pain and suffering if you choose to ignore them. The person who plays with the fires of sin, of negative volition toward God will get burned, and not just a little burn, like a sun burn, but really burned, all the way down to the soul. Death is possible. Loss of blessing is certain if you ignore Gods teaching and advice.