About Jesus Steve Sweetman
In The Shadow Of Sin
Sin is a subject often
ignored these days because talk of it lowers our self esteem, or so some say.
The present trend is towards motivational sermons that are meant
to boost self esteem. The
problem with this over emphasis is that the Lord still views sin as He
always has. So, any positive
results of uplifting self esteeming sermons are offset by the negative
consequences of unresolved sin.
Isaiah 59:1-2 states that
Israel's iniquities had separated her from her God, and her sins had hidden
His face from her. God then
said, "I will no longer hear you".
Isaiah isn't just speaking of individual sins committed by
He's speaking of Israel's national sins. Sins of
individuals had become popularized into the national consensus, much
like they have been popularized today.
paganized worship of Yahweh. At
times she was no better than
The separation between
The prophet Hosea adds to
this when he says, "their (Israel's) deeds do not permit them to return to their God". (Hosea 5:4) The
mountain of sin became so great in Israel
that it became "impossible" for her to return to the Lord.
had lost any ability she might have had to even think about returning
to her God. Israel
was that depraved. She was
stuck in the shadow of sin, and she had no way out.
That shadow is no place to be stuck in.
Biblical history shows us
that once nations become stuck in the shadow of their sin, the only way
out of the dilemma is God's judgment followed by national repentance.
As individual sins spread across a nation to form a national
consensus, so should repentance. When
genuine personal repentance spreads across a nation to form a national
consensus, then the mountain of sin is removed and a return to the Lord
Once our individual sins
get incorporated into the national consensus, as they are now, what
Hosea says comes into play. Our
sins "do not permit us to reach out to God".
I believe the western world, and even parts of that which is
called church, are now stuck in the shadow of sin.
The ability to reach out to the Lord is almost gone.
We're close to being that depraved.
If this is true, what Isaiah says comes into play next.
God's arm isn't too short that He can't save us.
He has a very long arm, but, and this is an important
"but", the long arm of salvation becomes the long arm of judgment.
People often wonder where
God is these days. We may not wonder much longer.
We'll soon see Him smashing
through the mountain of our sin with His long arm of judgment.
If this must become our reality, Jesus help those who are His.