"Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil." (Ecclesiastes 8:11)
There are some people — children and adults alike — who lament the fact that they never seem to be able to get away with things that others do. In the case of children, it indicates more loving, attentive parents; but in all cases, it represents the mercy of God. As this verse in Ecclesiastes teaches, left to ourselves, we are apt to take more and more liberty with sin in our lives.
To me, the verse bears a strange and alarming parallel to one found in Romans, chapter two. Paul, speaking to those who think they will escape the judgment of God because of His longsuffering and forbearance, warns them in verse five, "But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath..." It's as if they’re "storing up" more and more wrath as time goes by, which is what the verse in Ecclesiastes is warning. When men are not punished for their sin immediately, they become even more "fully set to do evil," therefore building judgment upon judgment.
Sin, like a cancer, feeds upon itself, and grows rapidly and insidiously, if left unchecked. Our daily prayer to God should be, "Lord, deliver me from evil…and do it now! Those of us who call ourselves Christians but seem to be getting away with known sin should be reminded of something Charles Spurgeon said:
God never allows His children to sin successfully.