Bible Society of South Africa
Xanthe Galanis

Come to Me – Day 17

Sin separates, but God saves

Bible text(s)

The People Confess their Sin

9The people say, “Now we know why God does not save us from those who oppress us. We hope for light to walk by, but there is only darkness, 10and we grope about like blind people. We stumble at noon, as if it were night, as if we were in the dark world of the dead.

Isaiah 59:9-10GNBOpen in Bible reader

For a generation, the Israelites had been in exile in Babylon. The older generation still remembered and longed for home but for the younger generation, their life in exile in Babylon was the only world they knew. The people of Israel remembered the promise of their prophets that someday they were going to go home and rebuild Jerusalem, but it did not look like that was going to happen anytime soon. Babylon was the most powerful empire in the world and showed no signs of weakening.

Their prayers for deliverance seemed to fall on deaf ears. They felt as though God had abandoned them and they were stumbling around in the dark.

Earlier in chapter 59, Isaiah reveals the reason for this, “But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear. For your hands are stained with blood, your fingers with guilt. Your lips have spoken lies, and your tongue mutters wicked things.” The Israelites’ sin and their inability to even recognise it as sin (remember the meaningless fasts?), had created a separation between God and his people.

We live in a world that believes people are inherently good, and that the awful crimes you read about are committed by individuals who are an exception to the rule. The Bible teaches us otherwise. We are all guilty, we are all sinners, we are all feeling our way, like men without eyes. God hates sin, but this does not mean that we have to be sinless before the Lord will answer our prayers. However, it does mean that we must not love or harbour sin, but hate it as Christ hated it.

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