Bible Reading: Isaiah 59:1-15
“But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear.”
How deeply have we pondered on the reality of sin? How much do we understand about the evil that we commit each day? Only when we come to a deeper understanding of our depravity will we exalt higher the grace of God.
Isaiah makes a case about the reality of sin. In actual reality, that is, the real-life fact, sin has separated us from God, and God no longer listens to us. What is such evil that can separate us from God?
Our preconceptions of sin most likely consist of actions such as lying, stealing, committing adultery, envy and murder. These are the outward fruits of sin. However, sin begins in our hearts. Sin is our heart’s desire to rebel against God. Our real self fundamentally denies God and makes up lies that we believe in to replace God. Instead of following and obeying God, we replace Him with other pursuits such as our own pride or satisfaction. We chase after idols in our hearts, such as wealth, popularity or status. God is the source of all good. Yet, sin denies the Source of all good and chooses to pursue lesser goods that will never satisfy or fulfil us.
Isaiah 59:12-13 says, “For our transgressions are multiplied before you, and our sins testify against us; for our transgressions are with us, and we know our iniquities: transgressing, and denying the LORD, and turning back from following our God, speaking oppression and revolt, conceiving and uttering from the heart lying words.”
Sin is heinous before God. It is utterly disgusting. God is holy and cannot withstand sin. Before His presence, it must be destroyed. Read Nahum 1:2-6:
“The Lord is a jealous and avenging God; the Lord is avenging and wrathful; the Lord takes vengeance on his adversaries and keeps wrath for his enemies. The Lord is slow to anger and great in power, and the Lord will by no means clear the guilty. His way is in whirlwind and storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet. He rebukes the sea and makes it dry; he dries up all the rivers; Bashan and Carmel wither; the bloom of Lebanon withers. The mountains quake before him; the hills melt; the earth heaves before him, the world and all who dwell in it. Who can stand before his indignation? Who can endure the heat of his anger? His wrath is poured out like fire, and the rocks are broken into pieces by him.”
Because we rejected Him and suppressed His truth which has been made plain to us (see Romans 1:18), we have been separated from God. We deserve His wrath.
In our sinful state, there is no peace. There is no justice in what we do. Our ways are defiled, and our roads are crooked. We do nothing that is right. Just read what Isaiah 59:9-11 says:
“Therefore justice is far from us, and righteousness does not overtake us; we hope for light, and behold, darkness, and for brightness, but we walk in gloom. We grope for the wall like the blind; we grope like those who have no eyes; we stumble at noon as in the twilight, among those in full vigor we are like dead men. We all growl like bears; we moan and moan like doves; we hope for justice, but there is none; for salvation, but it is far from us.”
Because of our sins, there is no way we deserve to be saved. We deserve eternal condemnation before God. Take time to introspect your life because these realities are real in our everyday lives. Our hearts do not love God. Inside, we rebel against God and love anything other than Him. We search all these other things for hope and joy, yet, we find nothing. We are like blind people looking for something to cling to, but in reality, we are lost. This is sin, and this is the reality of our lives every day.
We deserve to be punished. But instead, God sends His Son to die in our place. What kind of grace is this? What kind of love is this? It is unthinkable. Yet, it is the mystery of Christ’s unsearchable love. How and why would God choose to love us? Why would He ever think of redeeming us?
Isaiah 60:21 offers the slightest glimpse into the mystery which will amaze us for eternity. “Your people shall all be righteous; they shall possess the land forever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I might be glorified.”
It is all for His glory. Praise God, indeed! And may His glory be known above all man forevermore!
Lord, who can comprehend Your love? Who can understand Your grace? We are sinful far beyond what we realise. Our sins are evil before You, and we do not understand just how evil we are. Why would You give us grace? Have mercy on us. Give us humble hearts and take our lives. Lead it wherever you please. May You take all that we have. Praise be to You, who is all-loving beyond our comprehension. In Jesus’ name, amen.