Let’s talk about a real-life scenario on “reaping what one sows” using the example of the evil King Henry VIII….
Galatians 6:7 Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. (ESV)
Proverbs 22:8 Whoever sows injustice will reap calamity, and the rod of his fury will fail. (ESV)
Galatians 6:8 For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. (ESV)
Henry VIII reaped exactly what he sowed – and unfortunately, some of his children reaped the consequences … because ADONAI, who was watching, “showed grace and forgave,” but at the same time, He did NOT “exonerate the guilty,” but caused “the negative effects of the parents’ offenses to be experienced by their children and grandchildren, and even by the third and fourth generations.” (Exodus 34:5-7)
YHWH amply repaid the king according to his evil deeds. (1 Corinthians 4:5, 2 Corinthians 5:10, etc.).
Proverbs 24:12 If you say, “We knew nothing about it,” won’t he who weighs hearts discern it? Yes, he who guards you will know it and repay each one as his deeds deserve. (CJB)
Romans 2:5 But by your stubbornness, by your unrepentant heart, you are storing up anger for yourself on the Day of Anger, when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed; 6 for he will pay back each one according to his deeds. 7 To those who seek glory, honor and immortality by perseverance in doing good, he will pay back eternal life. 8 But to those who are self-seeking, who disobey the truth and obey evil, he will pay back wrath and anger. (CJB)
YHWH gives us all the choice to live our life according to His Will … or not. Simple and straightforward.
A SYNOPSIS OF THE REIGN OF KING HENRY VIII:
Henry VIII, who ruled England for 36 years (1509-1547), despite insisting he was a good and God-fearing man was, in fact, an evil, ruthless, arrogant, self-centered, womanizer who was married a total of six times before his death in 1547.
According to historian Ben Johnson, “Henry's driving desire for a male heir (to carry on the Tudor Dynasty) was to lead him to divorce two wives and have two wives beheaded: it led to religious revolution and the creation of the Church of England (because the Catholic Church did not allow divorce), the Dissolution of the Monasteries and the Reformation.” (Source: History of England/Henry VIII)
Henry was only 17 when he took the throne. Six weeks later, he married his brother’s widow, Catherine of Aragon (from Spain), who remained at his side for 23 years and gave him a daughter (Mary), but failed to ever produce a son.
Obsessed with having a MALE heir, and single-handedly taking on the Catholic Church, he insisted on having his marriage to Catherine annulled, so he could marry the much younger Anne Boleyn. In the meantime, amidst much turmoil and bloodshed (Henry had no problems ordering the brutal murder of anyone who stood in his way), he established the Church of England, thus ushering in the Reformation.
Anne produced a daughter, Elizabeth, but subsequently had several stillborn births and failed to give him a male heir. Henry lost interest in her, and took Jane Seymour as his mistress. When Anne found out, she became enraged and plotted to have Jane removed from court. Instead, Henry had the marriage to Anne annulled – and two days later, he had her beheaded for reasons unknown to this day.
Days after Anne’s execution, Henry married Jane Seymour, his third wife – who produced a son but died a year and a half into the marriage of childbirth complications. Regardless, Henry FINALLY had that long-awaited, long-desired son, Edward! To ensure that Edward would become King of England, Henry VIII had his daughters declared ineligible for succession to the Crown…
(NOTE: Henry VIII also had an “illegitimate” son by one of his many mistresses - the only “illegitimate” child he ever admitted to fathering - whom Henry named “Henry Fitzroy” which means “Son of the King”. But young Henry who would never legally become king, lived a privileged life because he was the king’s son … but he died at the age of 17.)
Two years after the death of Jane Seymour - solely for the sake of a European alliance, Henry agreed to marry Germany’s Anne of Cleves, after seeing only a nice portrait of her. To his great dismay, the woman looked nothing like the painting, and consequently, he feverishly tried to halt the wedding - but because the arrangement had progressed so far, they married on January 6, 1540.
After just six months, Henry couldn’t take it anymore and decided to divorce Anne, the so-called “ugly wife,” who accepted the divorce and generous settlement, and lived in peace as the “King’s Sister” until her death in July 1557.
Almost immediately after the divorce, Henry married 19-year-old Catherine Howard (lady-in waiting to Anne of Cleves). By this time, he had become so overweight, he was unable to walk, but he was delighted with Catherine and showered her with gifts. However, less than a year into their childless marriage, rumors of her infidelity surfaced, and with enough evidence that she, in fact, had been promiscuous, Henry had her executed for adultery and treason.
A year and a half later, Henry married his sixth wife, Catherine Parr, a woman who wholly agreed with his Reform of the Church – but, unlike her husband, she wanted a total break from Catholicism, even daring to enter into heated debates with him about it.
According to historian John Foxe, Henry quickly recognized her brazen attempts to manipulate him into believing he had “begun a good and a godly work in banishing that monstrous idol of Rome, so he would thoroughly perfect and finish the same, cleansing and purging his church of England clean from the dregs thereof, wherein as yet remained great superstition.”
This caused Henry much consternation for he had remained, for the most part, religiously conservative; and so, after a thorough investigation of his wife’s beliefs (which included the torturing of some of her closest associations) he devised a plot to trap his wife into publicly exposing her heretical beliefs by engaging her in a conversation about religion in front of “a number of gentlemen in his household.”
Catherine, however, had already been forewarned of this plot and she recognized this for the trap that it was and refused to be drawn into a discussion, insisting that she “could never presume to instruct the king on religion and that ‘yet must I, and will I, refer my judgment in this, and in all other cases, to your majesty’s wisdom, as my only anchor, supreme head and governor here in earth, next under God, to lean unto’.”
When further pressed, she insisted that “she had only previously dared to dispute with the king in order to learn from him and to try to take his mind off his painful leg.” (Henry had incurred severe injury to his left thigh in a jousting accident years before, which tormented him for the rest of his life.) (Source: Catherine Parr in Danger )
The bottom line for Catherine Parr was that, by her quick thinking, she literally managed to “keep her head” and lived to bring stability and peace to the court, while serving as a kind and caring stepmother to Henry’s children - and she even persuaded Henry to restore his daughters Mary and Elizabeth to the order of succession and acted as Regent when Henry went to war with France….
Unlike Henry’s other wives before her, Catherine Parr managed to remain married to, and “outlive” Henry the VIII ONLY because he died in 1547 “from natural causes: poor health, obesity, and the a wound from an old jousting accident that had not healed and had become ulcerated.” Catherine died a year later.
After Henry’s death, his son Edward VI (son of Jane Seymour) briefly became King of England and Ireland until his death on July 6, 1553, at the tender age of 15, after serving as king for only six years.
After a brief struggle for power, the bottom line was that Henry’s FIRST WIFE’s daughter, Mary, became England's first female monarch. (It would seem that this act may have been God’s reward for the first wife, Catherine of Aragon, who was so callously dumped for a younger woman!) Unfortunately, Mary only ruled for five years, until her untimely death during an influenza epidemic (although many historians believe that her death may have been due uterine or ovarian cancer).
Mary’s half-sister, Elizabeth (daughter of Anne Boleyn), succeeded her as a Protestant monarch for the next 45 years reigning as Queen Elizabeth I; and consequently, England remained Protestant. Because she was childless, Elizabeth’s death signified the end of the house of Tudor — a royal family that had ruled England since the late 1400s.
As you read this synopsis of the life of King Henry VIII, you could virtually see YHWH’s hand thwarting the adulterous, manipulating, murderous monarch’s most fervent desires of (1) having a male heir to succeed him to carry on the Tudor line; and then (2) ultimately ending the Tudor line with Henry’s daughter who was, by all accounts, a beloved queen and a good and godly woman … who, unfortunately, happened to “reap what her father had sowed.”
Remember that YHWH also did the same with the lines of Cain (the first known murderer), who killed his brother Abel in Genesis 4 (and wasn’t even mentioned at all in the genealogy of Adam in Genesis 5!); and the widower, Lot, whose daughters had sex with him while he was drunk, in hopes of having children (Genesis 19:30-38).
All of these people served as living examples as folks who “believed in God,” yet lived lifestyles that were completely opposite to YHWH’s Torah commands.
Source for most the historical facts above: Who Were the Six Wives of Henry VIII?