“The Lord says, ‘Shout as loud as you can! Tell my people Israel about their sins’”.
Isa 58:1 GNB
We try to avoid using the word sin today. Some theologians don’t believe in it. Nevertheless people keep doing it – sin that is! Many do more of that than they do of anything else. You only have to read the newspapers, watch the TV news, and listen. Look at all the “neighbourhood watches” and check out the reports of the security companies and see the vast amount of crimes.
Listen to the annual police statistics and shudder at the sickness of the society in which we live. Then they tell us, “These figures don’t tell the whole story because many crimes never get reported”. And the police say, “We can’t cope. We need thousands more staff to cope with the crime wave”. And there are many more sins that aren’t crimes. Sins are acts of disobedience against God’s laws – whether they are crimes or not. Crimes are contraventions of the state’s laws. Isaiah knew that the reason why the Israelites had been conquered by the Babylonians and carted off to Babylon was because they had offended God with their sins and were being punished for them. They carried a consequence. Now the Israelites were returning home and needed to be made aware that if they didn’t want the same fate to befall them again, they had better amend their conduct and live by God’s laws in a renewed covenant with him.
Always take sin seriously. God does. It is an offence against his holiness. And it is a contravention of Christ’s commandment to “Love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, and your neighbour as yourself”. Live uprightly and in harmony with Christ.
Lord, by your Spirit enable me to avoid sinning.