Man’s Terrible Predicament
Scripture reading for August 3rd: Isaiah 58-62
Sin is man’s terrible predicament. Sin separates us from God so that He turns His face from us and will not listen to our prayers. (Isaiah 59:2) Man is totally depraved and every part of him is tainted with the ravaging effects of this horrible malady. We tend to think that we have just a little problem and that we are not so bad, especially when compared to others who are worse! Comparing ourselves with ourselves is a worthless pursuit!
Isaiah describes man’s total separation from God. His hands are and fingers are stained with the guilt of innocent blood. His lips have spoken lies and evil. His feet have carried him down crooked paths leading to murder and violence. Man walks in total darkness and gropes along like a blind man. He growls like a bear and moans like a dove because of his predicament. There is no deliverance and his sins testify against him. Man even acknowledges his rebellion against the Lord, lies, oppression and revolt but is helpless to change or deliver himself! (Isaiah 59:3-14)
Paul the Apostle summarized this predicament in Romans 3:23; “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Not a single man is free from sin and it’s separating effects. All who have ever been born of woman, except for one, have this malady called sin. The final effect of sin is death. Death separates us from God for eternity.
Isaiah also records God’s feelings about man’s predicament. “The Lord looked and was displeased that there was no justice. He saw that there was no one, He was appalled that there was no one to intervene; so His own arm worked salvation for Him and His own righteousness sustained Him.” (Isaiah 59:15b-16) God undertook to help man by His own “Arm”. This “Arm” would use His own righteousness to sustain Him while He purchased salvation for man from the sentence of eternal separation from God! Isaiah concludes this chapter with the Redeemer coming to Zion to deliver all who will repent of their sins!
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23) Jesus Christ is God’s “Arm” and He alone can deliver us from our predicament. Those who repent of their sins and turn to Jesus will find the gift of eternal life!