I have been thinking a lot lately about the things I have become accustomed to. A couple weeks ago I mentioned that I think many of us have grown accustomed to the word sin. It is used so regularly and we have heard it preached against so often that it does not affect us the way that it probably once did, or perhaps still should. There are more things like this.
Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked who can know it?”
If this does not cause us to call out to God to save us from ourselves, then what would? What more can be said of our wickedness? This verse has become easy to say, easy to hear, easy to write, and easy to read. When we can read or hear this verse and we say to ourselves, “Ah, this is so true. Our hearts are deceitful and wicked.” Then we say, “Amen!” And our heart says, “Gotcha!” It doesn’t do us any good to recognize this fact and then not let it influence us. If this truth does nothing for us, then our hearts have deceived us into thinking we are immune to a truth because we now know it.
Knowing a truth doesn’t make us immune to it. There are many things we know. Reminding ourselves of them or even of how important they are is not the same as doing them. It is not a solution to remind yourself that you should be content always, praying is necessary, and that we need to give thanks in all things. Reminding ourselves is not the same as doing it. It isn’t the same as being content, praying, or thanking.
Not only does our heart deceive us and we too easily neglect the solemn warning of Jeremiah, but we also have come to neglect the fact that God hates sin. Do we know what it means to hate? Does this statement scare us? Hatred is that deep welling of emotion in intense disgust and anger toward the object of hatred. Whether you have hated something or someone, hatred is not a comfortable feeling. The presence of the object brings such distaste and sickness. The hearing of the person causes anger to rise within you. God hates sin.
God HATES sin!
God hates sin.
Do we get the point? Is there any part of us that still thinks that minor slight, rude comment, unkind word, failure to give a helping hand, is not a big deal? Does God look on sin and say “Oh, you were tired and just didn’t want to go out of your way today, I understand.” No! God hates sin! How can we not fear?
People don’t like to be afraid. We don’t like to be sensitive to things. We want things to come easily to us. Americans especially, consider people of weak constitution if they are afraid. We do not want to live in fear; we don’t want to acknowledge God as Lord of our entire life. We don’t want to consider the serious implications of our “minor” decisions. We don’t want to live soberly. We come up with all types of excuses, but this is exactly the life God calls us to live.