As the old saying goes, “crime doesn’t pay…because you might get eaten by an alligator.” Not the way you remember that one? I admit, it may sound a bit unusual. But for one thief, that saying was the sad end to a series of poor choices.
November 13th, 22 year old, Mathew Riggins told his girlfriend he was going to Brevard County’s Barefoot Bay to rob homes along with another person. The police received several calls that night about suspicious men looking in homes. A few homes in that area were even burglarized. So police went to investigate.
As police entered the area, Riggins decided to take cover. Unfortunately, an 11-foot alligator inhabited the lake where he hid; it was a fatal mistake. When police found his remains 10 days later, an area resident simply commented, “he hid in the wrong place.”
Now, I don’t want to be insensitive to the obvious: a man has died. And I don’t rejoice in that or take that lightly. But we should learn a few things from his mistake or his death will be utterly fruitless.
First, remember that, as Paul tells Timothy, we cannot hide sins from God. “The sins of some men are quite evident, going before them to judgment; for others, their sins follow after” (1 Timothy 5:24). All sins will be revealed one day (Numbers 32:23).
Secondly, remember that there is only one place to hide ourselves that makes any sense – in the Lord. “You are my hiding place; You preserve me from trouble; You surround me with songs of deliverance” (Psalm 32:7).
Finally, remember, crime doesn’t pay. Ephesians 4:28 simply says, “he who steals must steal no longer; but rather he must labor, performing with his own hands what is good.” Unfortunately, Riggins isn’t here to confirm this. But I imagine that, if he could, he would warn others against the foolishness of crime.
Trust in the Lord, hide yourself in him, don’t steal, and always…always, check for gators!