Punishment and suffering never seem fair.
Why would a loving God allow us to feel pain?
Because He is merciful. What’s that? How is punishment merciful?

And what about those times when our sin did not precipitate our suffering? Again, His mercy. His lavish grace enables us to do good.

This morning I was caught by a couple of verses tucked away in that book we sometimes avoid reading: Leviticus.

Sometimes it can feel like passages in the OT are from another worldโ€”like we cannot relate to them. Yet even though their culture was vastly different, there is still so much that remains the same.

We still struggle with this thing called sin and at the root of that sin is ugly pride.

And our God? He remains the same. He hates our pride and our sin but loves us so very much. He does not delight in punishing us but He cares too much for our souls to leave us in our sin:

Leviticus 27:40-41
“But at last my people will confess their sins and the sins of their ancestors for betraying me and being hostile toward me. 41 When I have turned their hostility back on them and brought them to the land of their enemies, then, at last, their stubborn hearts will be humbled, and they will pay for their sins.โ€

There in these two little verses, we catch a glimpse at the heart of God toward us and toward our sin.

๐Ÿ”˜ย ๐“๐ก๐ž ๐ฐ๐š๐ฒ ๐ฐ๐ž ๐š๐ซ๐ž ๐ฌ๐ž๐ญ ๐Ÿ๐ซ๐ž๐ž ๐Ÿ๐ซ๐จ๐ฆ ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐ซ๐ž๐›๐ž๐ฅ๐ฅ๐ข๐จ๐ง ๐ข๐ฌ ๐ญ๐จ ๐ก๐š๐ฏ๐ž ๐œ๐จ๐ง๐ฌ๐ž๐ช๐ฎ๐ž๐ง๐œ๐ž๐ฌ ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐ฌ๐ข๐ง๐ฌ.

Like gravity reminds us (sometimes painfully), we will have an opposite reaction for our action. We can’t escape the law of gravity and we can’t escape God’s laws. He made usโ€”not to live for sin, but to live in relationship with Him.

๐Ÿ”˜ย ๐Ž๐ฎ๐ซ ๐ฌ๐ข๐ง ๐ข๐ฌ ๐ก๐จ๐ฌ๐ญ๐ข๐ฅ๐ข๐ญ๐ฒ ๐ญ๐จ ๐†๐จ๐.

Sometimes we give our sin nice names to make space for it in our lives. We think of our sin as something we can’t do anything about. But Jesus did something about it. The reality of our sin cost Him His own life.

๐†๐ข๐ฏ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐ฌ๐ข๐ง ๐ข๐ญ๐ฌ ๐ฐ๐จ๐ซ๐ฌ๐ญ ๐ง๐š๐ฆ๐ž ๐ฌ๐ž๐ญ๐ฌ ๐ฎ๐ฌ ๐Ÿ๐ซ๐ž๐ž ๐ฅ๐ข๐ค๐ž ๐ž๐ฑ๐œ๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ž๐ฌ ๐ง๐ž๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ ๐œ๐จ๐ฎ๐ฅ๐.

๐Ÿ”˜ย ๐Ž๐ฎ๐ซ ๐ฌ๐ข๐ง ๐ข๐ฌ ๐›๐ž๐ญ๐ซ๐š๐ฒ๐š๐ฅ ๐š๐ ๐š๐ข๐ง๐ฌ๐ญ ๐†๐จ๐.

Give sin its real name. Betrayal. Name each sin and then deal with it biblically. Irradicate it and don’t allow it. The sin we cherish betrays us, too.

๐Ÿ”˜ย ๐Ž๐ฎ๐ซ ๐ฌ๐ข๐ง ๐ข๐ฌ ๐ซ๐จ๐จ๐ญ๐ž๐ ๐ข๐ง ๐ฉ๐ซ๐ข๐๐ž. ๐–๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ง๐ค ๐ฐ๐ž ๐ค๐ง๐จ๐ฐ ๐›๐ž๐ญ๐ญ๐ž๐ซ.

Any parent will tell you we can see it in our own childrenโ€”we ask them to do something and they choose (free will) to do what they want. My youngest son will frequently start his explanation for this by saying, “I thought . . .”

We can rationalize our sin away by our thoughts, but the truth still stands. And putting our thinking above God’s is the highest pride.

๐Ÿ”˜ย ๐†๐จ๐โ€™๐ฌ ๐ฉ๐ฎ๐ง๐ข๐ฌ๐ก๐ฆ๐ž๐ง๐ญ ๐ข๐ฌ ๐š ๐ค๐ข๐ง๐๐ง๐ž๐ฌ๐ฌ, ๐ญ๐จ ๐จ๐ฉ๐ž๐ง ๐ฎ๐ฉ ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐ž๐ฒ๐ž๐ฌ ๐š๐ง๐ ๐๐ซ๐š๐ฐ ๐ฎ๐ฌ ๐ญ๐จ ๐ซ๐ž๐ฉ๐ž๐ง๐ญ๐š๐ง๐œ๐ž.

I hated spanking my kids when they were younger. Wished they would just choose to do right, but it was actually cruel to not deal with their sin and leave them in their sin.

๐Ÿ”˜ย ๐ƒ๐ข๐ฌ๐œ๐ข๐ฉ๐ฅ๐ข๐ง๐ž ๐ฅ๐ž๐š๐๐ฌ ๐ญ๐จ ๐ก๐ฎ๐ฆ๐ข๐ฅ๐ข๐ญ๐ฒ, ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐š๐ง๐ญ๐ข๐๐จ๐ญ๐ž ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐ฉ๐ซ๐ข๐๐ž๐Ÿ๐ฎ๐ฅ ๐ฌ๐ข๐ง.

The stubbornness of our hearts is humbled when we endure suffering. Humilityโ€”the very thing we wanted to avoid, our humbling, is the very thing that will bring us joy and sets us free from the bondage of sin.

We waste so much time on this earth trying to be enough, to prove our worth, but God already did that. He is our worth, He is our sufficiency. We can stop striving for our own righteousness.

And sin’s offerings will not ever bring us what we seek. Temporary acceptance? Power? The ability to “do what we want”?

We were made for so much more.

God hates sin because of what it does to us. It separates us from God and destroys our lives. And it is rebellion against the Holy God Who made us for His glory and to be in relationship with Him. In the very beginning, he warned us about sinโ€”it would try to master us, but we must master it: Genesis 4:7:

“You will be accepted if you do what is right. But if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master.โ€

๐Ÿ”˜๐–๐ก๐ž๐ง ๐ฐ๐ž ๐Ÿ๐ž๐ž๐ฅ ๐๐ž๐Ÿ๐ž๐š๐ญ๐ž๐ ๐›๐ฒ ๐ฌ๐ข๐ง, ๐ฐ๐ž ๐ฃ๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ญ ๐ง๐ž๐ž๐ ๐ญ๐จ ๐ซ๐ฎ๐ง ๐ญ๐จ ๐†๐จ๐ ๐š๐ง๐ ๐‡๐ข๐ฌ ๐ฐ๐จ๐ซ๐. ๐‡๐ž ๐ฐ๐ข๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐ซ๐ž๐ฌ๐ญ๐จ๐ซ๐ž ๐ฎ๐ฌ ๐š๐ ๐š๐ข๐ง.

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This
%d bloggers like this: