He was so tough that he would toss a family out in the cold to further his interests.

The Scobeys rented from Ben Weaver, a shrewd local Mayberry businessman. When Lester, the dad, missed one month’s rent payment due to insufficient funds, Weaver was ready to foreclose. No grace…no mercy…merely a get-out-of-my-house notice.

Since Andy was the sheriff, he had the unpleasant task of serving the eviction notice. Barney, however, conceives the idea for a “Save the Scobey House Fund”—part of which entailed a rummage sale at the jail.

As one local farmer mulled over the items, he came upon one gadget he’d never seen before. Perhaps Andy knew. He asked. Andy replied, “If I knew what it was, it’d cost you….” No idea what the identity was…no idea what the purpose was either (“Andy Forecloses”).

God has a lot to say about sin, but I’ve often wondered what purpose it serves. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:23 NLT).

That God is sovereign is unquestionably assumed and stated throughout the Bible. Yet if he’s all-powerful as his Word relates, why doesn’t he stop sin? Surely this would be the magic ticket for my success at obeying his commands—which is, after all, what he craves.

Though we can’t know why God doesn’t squash sin, at least two conclusions help deal with the conundrum of its presence. First, sin must serve some purpose; otherwise, God would eliminate it. Second, sin’s presence gives us a choice.

The ability to choose makes us human. It did Adam and Eve and everyone since them. God gave them the choice to obey by avoiding the fruit of the only tree he forbade them to eat from. He also left room for their disobedience.

Sin’s presence is God’s constant reminder that healthy and unhealthy choices exist in life. Choices that either take us in his direction or Satan’s. Which ones are you making?

Photo by Kyle Glenn on Unsplash