I remember one occasion when I was a youngster, and my mother was about to scold me for some wrongdoing, when I butted in, “But, I didn’t do anything!” My mother, not deterred in the slightest, exclaimed, “Exactly! And, that’s why you’re in trouble!” I had transgressed my parents’ law, not by doing something wrong, but by failing to do that which I was supposed to have done earlier. Thus, I learned (the hard way) about the sin of doing nothing.
This lesson is taught in Scripture in the book of Judges. In chapter 4, Israel had fought and defeated the Canaanites, under the leadership of Deborah and Barak. Chapter 5 records Deborah and Barak’s victory song after their conquest. It is to verse 23 that our attention is now directed: “Curse ye Meroz, said the angel of the LORD, curse ye bitterly the inhabitants thereof; because they came not to the help of the LORD, to the help of the LORD against the mighty.” The inhabitants of Meroz were cursed, not because they had done any particular action that was wrong, but because they had failed to do that which they should have done—help their brethren in the fight against the Canaanites. Thus, Meroz learned the hard way about the sin of doing nothing. It is not enough simply to refrain from doing wrong, but God’s children must also be careful to do that which they are expected to do. Continue reading