BY PROSPER TINGINI
Bad apples is a term used to describe individuals or small groups of malcontents whose behaviour spoils the integrity or good countenance of a whole community or a particular social group. Their actions can bring consequences that can affect the entire community. Their mischief, whether of a group of people or of one individual, can bring a curse to a country and its citizens. Their behaviour should not be allowed to pollute the neighbourhoods. That is why society has put in place appropriate facilities, like prisons, detention and rehabilitation centres, to separate such people from normal society.
The Lord our God applied a heavy hand on the rotten apples of this world, for many reasons. His intention being to avoid human pollution by separating the evil from the good. He sought to uproot and remove the malignant members from our society, in the same way we dig up bad weeds to destroy them. They inhibit or contaminate humanity, just like what bad weeds do to the growth of plants and crops. Some classes of offences were made punishable by death. Exodus 21:12-17 reads: “Whoever strikes a man intentionally so that he dies should be put to death. Whoever strikes his father or mother shall be put to death. Whoever steals a man (slavery), whether he sells him or is found in possession of him shall be put to death.”
The Lord has solid reasons why he deemed it necessary to give such heavy penalties for particular crimes. Allowing any such evil practices to dwell and multiply among us would desecrate human behaviour. He proceeded to pronounce capital punishments for other abominations. In Exodus 22:18-20, He proclaimed; “You shall not permit a sorcerer (includes augury and witchcraft) to live. Whoever sacrifices to any other god, save to the Lord only shall be utterly destroyed.”
On matters of sexual contact, He judged; “If a man commits adultery with a married woman, both the adulterer and adulteress shall be put to death. The man who lies with his father’s wife has uncovered his father’s nakedness; both of them shall be put to death, their blood is upon them. If a man lies with his daughter-in-law, both of them shall be put to death; they have committed incest, their blood is upon them. If a male lies with a male as if with woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall be put to death, their blood is upon them. If a man takes a wife and her mother also, it is wickedness; they shall be burned with fire, both he and they, that there be no wickedness among you. If a man lays with a beast, he shall be put to death; and you shall kill the beast. If a woman approaches any beast and lies with it , you shall kill both the woman and the beast; they shall be put to death, their blood is upon them (Leviticus 20:10-16).”
He made many more death proclamations for other categories of sinful acts. I am not an advocate or proponent for the death penalty; let the nations and the people decide for themselves on these issues, guided by the outlined principles of God. People who commit acts of abominations which are punishable by death, as classified by the Lord our God, are really the bad apples who can bring a curse among their people. Holders of high office should be made to relinquish their post should they commit such transgressions to serve the people from the curses for their sins. Even their abominations were to remain hidden from public view, like in the case of King David’s adulterous relationship with the married woman, Bathsheba; our God sees everything and knows of everything. In King David’s case, the Lord withheld the death penalty from him, only after he had pleaded for forgiveness. He however made sure that King David would loose his position as king, by devising a plan which would see him being overthrown by his own son, Absalom (11 Samuel:16-17). Absalom pushed his father David into exile, and pitched a tent upon the roof of his father’s house, and there in the sight of all Israel slept with ten of David’s wives. This was an fulfilment of God’s already proclaimed curse for David’s sins (2 Samuel 12:11-12). Absalom was also subsequently punished accordingly for his evil actions.
It doesn’t matter your status or position, there will always be consequences for all your hidden sins. Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed not because everybody in the two cities had sinned. The immorality of a few individuals had polluted the whole communities, which then followed suit. As examples, imagine of an entire army can be stained through the bad actions of just one soldier, and one bad policeman can tarnish the image of a whole police force. If the transgressions of those bad individuals is left unpunished, other members may feel free to do likewise. One person’s sin can bring down the whole nation. Let’s all repent and ask for the forgiveness of our sins to remove the afflictions and curses brought forth among our people as a repercussion for our immoralities.
In the scriptures is one of the numerous other evil deeds committed by one person, which would affect a whole nation. In Joshua 6 and 7 is the story of the capture of the city of Jericho by an army under the command of Joshua, who led the Jews across the river Jordan after the death of Moses. God gave the people one simple instruction to be observed after the fall of Jericho. In Joshua 6:17-19, in accordance with what the Lord had spoken, Joshua commanded; “The city shall be devoted to the Lord for destruction; only Rahab the harlot and all who are with her in her house shall live, because she hid the spies that we send (Joshua 2). But you, keep yourselves from the things devoted to destruction, lest when you take any of the devoted things, you make the camp of Israel a thing for destruction, and bring trouble upon it, but all silver and gold and vessels of bronze and iron, are sacred to the Lord; they shall go into the treasury of the Lord.”
Despite the clear instructions from the Lord, one bad apple, named Achan, went against the Lord and kept some of the forbidden precious things for himself. The consequence was that the Lord’s anger burned against the people of Israel, and He turned against them. He brought a curse upon the army, which was then severely routed in their next battle for the capture the town of Ai. Joshua and the people were astounded by their swift and overwhelming defeat, and pleaded with God to reveal the cause. The Lord then ordered a search of all the people, and Achan was caught red-handed with the forbidden devoted things. In his confession, he admitted, “Of a truth I have sinned against the Lord God of Israel, and this is what I did: When I saw among the spoil a beautiful mantle from Shinar, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a bar of gold weighing 50 shekels, then I coveted them, and took them; and behold they are hidden in the earth inside my tent, with the silver underneath.” And all Israel stoned him with stones. And they raised over him a great heap of stones that remains to this day; then the Lord turned from his burning anger. Therefore to this day the name of that place is called the Valley of Anchor (Trouble).
- Prosper Tingini is the Scribe of the Children of God Missionary Assembly. Contact details: WhatsApp/SMS 0771260195 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org