In Isaiah 6 the prophet has a vision of God high and lifted up, sitting on His throne. Immediately, Isaiah falls on his face and cries out, “Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.” (Isaiah 6:5) In this sin-tainted world in which we live, few of us see our sin as being all that bad. Sure, we may mess up occasionally. We may lose our temper, or say a curse word, or have an evil thought. We may occasionally be jealous of our neighbor or harbor a grudge against an old rival. But we’ve not that bad. We’re better than most people. We’re on the high end of the morally righteous scale. The problem is we are comparing ourselves to the wrong standard.
Theologian F F Bruce says it this way. (READ THIS SLOWLY AND THINK ABOUT IT)
“The guilt of the offense is proportional to the greatness, the moral excellence, and the glory of Him against whom the offense is committed, and who made us for loyal obedience to Himself. Nothing else, therefore, comes into consideration in estimating the enormity of sin but the infinite majesty, glory and claims of Him against whom we sin.”
Our seemingly tiny sin is huge when held up against the pure white back drop of a Holy God. Let me explain it this way.
Suppose you go to Lowes and buy a new room size rug to cover the hardwood floors in your living room. They’re on sale and you pick up a nice one for a couple of hundred dollars. The next week I come over and spill a bottle of indelible ink right in the middle of it. Now that’s a terrible offense. I’ve ruined your new $200.00 rug. But suppose instead that it was a $50,000 hand-woven, Persian rug. The sin hasn’t changed but the enormity of the crime now seems much greater.
That’s how we should view our sin in light of God’s holiness. God’s holiness cannot even be compared to a $50,000 rug. Its value is infinite, immeasurable. To make it worse our sin of pouring the ink on the rug may well have been intentional. We deliberately chose to act out of pride or selfishness. Our judgmental attitude, our unkind words were deliberate affronts to the holiness of God. It’s as if we intentionally poured out that bottle of ink on the rug of God’s holiness.
Perhaps the first step to pursuing true holiness is to come to grips with the “sinfulness of our sin”. We must confess what we’ve done. Like Isaiah we need to cry out for mercy “woe is me”. The good news is the blood of Jesus is the ultimate spot remover. (I John 1:7)
Have a great week!