8/9/17

what do we do with our sin?




The trees bustle as a breeze moves through the garden. A deer comes up to a stream and drinks its fill. All is quiet, yet all is not right. "Adam, where are you?" God asks. Adam cringes. Hidden behind some bushes with his wife they feel naked and exposed. They have sinned and in response have tried to hide.

Years later we find this couple's child caught in sin. His brother's blood is still on his shirt  as God asks him, "Where is Abel?" "How should I know?" Cain replies. In response to his sin he blurts out a lie.

David stands before Bathsheba as she rubs her telling belly. She feels a kick and looks up at the man who did this. David, bug-eyed and frantic, does all he can to cover up what he has done, going so far as to murder. David covers up, believing if no one knows there is no harm.

The waves start crashing and the sailors start worrying. What is happening and what can we do? They wonder. Little do they know the man called Jonah is running away in disobedience. The Lord has called him to a people he has no desire for and so he does all he can to avoid this call. He does so much as to jump into the stormy waters just so long as he doesn't have to admit to God that he messed up. Jonah is living in sin and he does all he can to run away from the Lord.

In Ezra we find the people of Israel in sin. The Lord has told them to separate themselves from those of other nations and yet the report to Ezra is that the Israelites have married Canaanites and Hittites and Perizzites and the list goes on.

It'd be so easy to want to cover up their sin, to pretend they didn't know or had forgotten the command of God. Although we may judge the reactions of Adam, Cain, David, and Jonah to their sin don't we often find it much easier to respond the way they did?

Ezra doesn't do this, though. He hears of their sin and this is his response: "As soon as I heard this, I tore my garment and cloak and pulled hair from my head and beard and sat appalled."

Ezra knows that the only thing he can do is admit that there is nothing he can do. There is nothing he can do to make himself right before God, to make the people of Israel right before God, to take away their sins. So he admits that the people of Israel have messed up, there is no going back, no excuses, no ignorances. He admits that blatantly the Lord's will was defied and there is nothing he or anyone can do to make it better.

He confesses.

"O my God, I am ashamed and blush to life my face to you, my God, for our iniquities have risen higher than our heads, and our guilt has mounted up to the heavens."

What do you do when confronted with your sin? Do you hide? Lie? Try to cover up? Run?

Psalm 51 tells us that God doesn't want us to figure out how to make up for our sin or remove it on our own. God doesn't want this because it's impossible for us to do this.

What God desires is a heart that knows its own brokenness and brings the pieces to the Father. He wants us to leave our attempts at self-sufficiency and denial and to move into recognition, confession, and repentance.

Psalm 149 says that the Lord adorns the humble with salvation.  Does your heart hear that? You don't have to try to make yourself right or cover up the issue. In fact, it's he who admits a screw up that gets salvation. It's he who owns up to his mistakes and need for a Savior that finds true forgiveness.

So come to the One who knows where you are hiding, who knows the sins you have done, who sees through the cover up and will chase you when you try to run. Come to the One who sees your brokenness and longs for you to bring that brokenness to him.