Tag: confronting sin
Scripture reading for August 22nd: Ezekiel 20-23
Confronting sin in lost people was the job of the prophet and preacher. They faithfully declared what God had spoken plainly to those whose souls were in danger of His eternal wrath. That wrath is happening continually and it is also an eternal thing that will happen to all who die in their sins on the day of judgment. (Romans 1:18-19) (Romans 2:5) God loves each lost person enough to confront him before He judges him. In fact, He has stated that He will not send His wrath without revealing his plan to the prophets. (Amos 3:7) This is part of God’s great mercy that seeks to draw people to repentance.
Ezekiel was told to confront the people of Jerusalem with all of their sins. (Ezekiel 22:1) Sacrificing their children in the fire to the false idols was bringing God’s wrath! Ezekiel pointed out mistreatment of fathers and mothers by children and mistreatment of the alien and orphan as reasons for the coming destruction. The people had despised the holy things and desecrated the Sabbath as a day of worship and rest. (Ezekiel 22:7-8) Adultery, incest, and lewd sexual conduct were hastening the day of wrath! Excessive interest was being charged and people were extorting money from the weak and powerless.
God also confronted the priests who were doing violence to God’s law. They were calling evil, good and good, evil. They did not help people to discern between what was holy and profane. They whitewashed their evil deeds by giving the people false visions and lying divinations. They claimed the the Lord had spoken when He had said nothing of the sort! (Ezekiel 22:26-28) God looked for one man to stand in the gap on behalf of the land so He would not have to destroy it, but found none! (Ezekiel 22:30-31)
In these last days, God sent His Son Jesus Christ to stand in the gap for all lost men and women! God confronted sin on the cross by laying all sin on Jesus Christ, who was the offering for our sins! He now gives all people opportunity to repent and be delivered. His love through the Gospel of Christ brings conviction and salvation to those who will humbly receive it. If you have received God’s grace through Christ, stand in the gap for someone who is in need of His grace! The rewards are eternal!
Scripture reading for January 27th: Exodus 21-24
Is there any such thing as a “harmless sin”? We sometimes laugh when our young children defiantly disobey. When our adopted daughters were first released from the orphanage to come with us, they were so cute! Both my wife and I and the girls had a short time of mutual admiration. But on one of our first outings, we were waiting to cross the street and cars were speeding by. One of them (name withheld to protect the innocent!) stuck her foot out towards the street and looked up mischievously to see what we might do! Mary and I had a good laugh but realized that we had a job ahead of us and a late start!
Sin entered mankind through Eve’s deception and through the disobedience of Adam. Sin had consequences. We can choose to sin, but we get the consequences for free! The law that God gave Moses on the mountain included Exodus 21-24. These were practical explanations of the ten commands that helped God’s people understand how these laws would play out in the community of Israel. A holy God lived in their midst who demanded that they be holy too. (1st Peter 1:15-16)
Some of the laws and their consequences remind us of the “deadliness” of sin! In Exodus 21:15 and 17, the penalty for attacking father or mother or cursing them was death. If a man owned a bull that was known to gore others and he did not restrain this animal and a person was killed, the bull and the owner would die! (Exodus 21:28-29) A sorceress must be put to death! (Exodus 22:18) Anyone having sexual relations with an animal must die! (Exodus 22:19) One who took advantage of an orphan or a widow would die if that orphan or widow cried out to the Lord! God gets angry when we mess with those who are hurting! (Exodus 22:26-27)
God is compassionate and loves us enough to confront sin. We need to be serious when it comes to sin. As parents, we need to love our children enough to discipline them and teach them that sin is nothing to mess with. May the Lord continue to love us enough to discipline us so that sin is not our downfall!
“Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good that we might share in His holiness.” Hebrews 12:10