Sin and Forgiveness
“Surely these things happened to Judah according to the LORD’s command, in order to remove them from his presence…” 2 Kings 24:3
All things happen for a reason, and the cause of Israel’s demise was that they had rebelled against the Lord by turning to idols. The Lord stated this clearly by his words.
Had the Israelites known the outcome of their sins, they would have avoided committing them. Yet they were just like all humans, and were prone to take chances. “A loving God wouldn’t do such cruelty against his own people,” they argued. “All will be well.” They assured themselves and kept on doing what they had been doing.
We have been spoiled by our earthly parents, and we believe our Heavenly Father will spoil us in exactly the same way. Surely he is all loving and all forgiving and incapable of doing anything to inflict harm on his children. God is love and all is well with the world!
As you and I can see clearly, God isn’t always that forgiving and all isn’t not well in the world. Famine and wars do occur, and people do get sick and die. The world is far from ideal, yet we seem to be fooled by the façade some people have put forth.
Surely these things happened to Judah according to the LORD’s command…” The all-seeing eyes in heaven are watching and the Almighty is going to take account of all we have ever done. The Israelites might not have deemed it such a big deal to bow down to Baal or burn incense to pagan gods, yet the holy God was watching and was keeping a detailed record, on which basis he would exact his judgment.
“So what if we curse a little, cheat a little, be slothful a little, get drunk a little, flirt a little, and sleep around a little. A little bit of these doesn’t really amount to anything. Besides, I am no worse than the other guys.” We seem to have all the excuses for all the sins we have ever committed and our apologies appear to be air-tight. Besides, in Christ Jesus all our sins have been atoned for, therefore there is nothing to worry.
Christ’s merit on the cross has often been used as a license to sin and the unconditional forgiveness of our sin through Jesus’ death seems to embolden many of us to sin even more. No wonder the precious attribute of holiness is so hard to find within our churches. The more our congregations grow, the less holiness we find in them.
This is not the time to point fingers, really. The prophet Isaiah cried out “Woe is me!” as he beheld the blinding holiness of the Lord, and then he asked the Almighty what could he do. What must I do at this point since I have witnessed God’s holiness and am brought face to face with my sin and iniquities? Am I going to continue to fool myself by believing that all things will be well, or do I make them well by doing all things in accordance with God’s will?