Tag Archives: God’s view of sin

Is God the Enemy? (Lamentations 1:1-3:36)

What had been beautiful and blessed now stood in ruins. The people who had been protected by God were now in captivity. Those who had been respected were suddenly targets of scorn. How did things get so bad for the Old Testament Israelites? Listen to what the writer of Lamentations says:

The visions of your prophets were false and worthless; they did not expose your sin to ward off your captivity. The oracles they gave you were false and misleading. (2:14)

In other words, the people had exchanged the Truth for a theology that didn’t require them to repent of sin. And they liked it.

But the consequences for disobedience were without mercy. In fact, the writer says this sad statement: “The Lord is like an enemy…” (2:5) Then he goes on to say things like God had laid waste His dwelling, destroyed His place of meeting, rejected His altar and abandoned His sanctuary. God had withdrawn from Israel.

It’s a sobering thought to think God is like an enemy when He is punishing sin. This patient, loving God who pursues each of us, woos us, throws out one sign after another to reveal Himself as the One True God, has a limit to His mercy. And His final judgment without mercy is worse than any of us can imagine.

The thing is, God wrote down all His requirements so that there would be no question about what is expected of us. Then He spelled out what His anger and judgment looks like so no one could say they didn’t know. But He also tells us in His Word that He Himself provided the way for us sinful people to go to Him, receive His mercy and forgiveness, and live not as an enemy, but as a beloved child now and forever.

If God is the enemy it is only because we have embraced our own “truth,” refused to deal with sin according to Scripture. We’ve listened to false prophets who tell us a relationship with God means health and wealth, that worship of God should be an experience, that Jesus isn’t God, that there are many ways to approach God, that a loving God doesn’t send anyone to hell.

And if God is the enemy, we are in serious trouble, my friend.

June 21; That’s Harsh

2 Kings 9:1-11:3; 2 Chronicles 22:7-12

Jehu obeyed God, as hard as it might have been. Every person in Ahab’s family from the oldest to the youngest was executed. All the priests of Baal were also killed. These were enemies of God, and they had to be eliminated. Sin had to be removed at all cost.

It’s tempting to think God through Jehu is too harsh, the penalty for being related to Ahab too severe. But that’s because we don’t understand how much God hates sin, no matter how small or how innocent we think the sin may be.

God abhors sin. God cannot exist where sin is; not in a nation, or a heart. Until we see sin through God’s eyes we will allow God’s enemy to live.

I’m certainly not talking about killing people. Jesus died so sin can be eliminated through His own blood, so no one ever has to die for sin ever again. But in order to receive the forgiveness Jesus bought there on the cross, we have to make that choice and accept it.

We have to put sin to death in our own lives, sever relationships if necessary, turn off the TV and computers, put down that glass or that bag of chips, forgive…

Hear God say to us that He is deathly serious about sin in all shapes and sizes. Hear Him say He will not tolerate your sin or mine. Hear Him as He shows us in His Word how He views sin, and how He deals with sin. His own Son died, took the penalty for every sin we’ve ever committed. God is that serious about sin.

It is harsh. You might think it’s too harsh. But you aren’t God. And the truth of the matter is, that harsh penalty was paid by Jesus on your behalf. I pray you accept it, embrace Him, and look at sin through His eyes.

February 9; My Bad

Exodus 22-24

The reading of the law might not be the most exciting narrative in Scripture. In fact, it’s tempting to skim through and think, “This doesn’t apply to me since I live after the cross.” But I believe every verse in the Bible is God-breathed with a purpose.

If you have spent much time with young children, I imagine you’ve cleaned up your share of spilled milk. I also imagine you’ve looked into wide eyes and heard, “I didn’t mean to.” And 99% of the time that would be the case. Spilled milk is an accident.

Are there consequences for accidents? There should be, according to what God told Moses. When a Jew was negligent, or unintentionally did something that resulted in a loss for someone else, there was a guilty verdict and restitution followed. There was never a slap on the wrist or a “Be careful next time,” from the judge. A penalty had to be paid.

Now, the consequence for an accidental crime wasn’t as severe as that for an intentional one, of course. But if your ox died while in my care, I was guilty of killing your ox whether it tumble down a hill and broke its neck, or I slit its throat.

For years, decades really, I have been concerned about what children are taught about rule-breaking. Let’s call it what it is: I’m concerned about what children are taught about sin. I’m afraid we are reaping what we have sown.

Many of the young adults in our world today have never been held accountable for wrong-doing. Parents don’t paddle. They don’t even show anger if their child does something wrong. Heaven forbid we raise our voices. What has three decades of this kind of child-rearing produced? I’m afraid we are looking at thirty year old toddlers.

But I’m going to tell you something. God makes it clear He never turns a blind eye to sin. He never winks, then sends us on our merry way. Sin makes God angry.

No, sin makes God furious. Including the adorable little temper-tantrum your child pitches in the grocery, or that lie you told your boss when you were late yesterday.

Often God’s discipline is swift and painful. The ultimate consequence is eternity without Him. But every sin will be accounted for. Every. Sin.

Next time you are tempted to brush off sin with a “My bad,” stop and think. Would you look into the eyes of God and say that? Would you want your child to?

Parents, paddle your children. If a child is old enough to drink milk from a cup, he’s old enough to help clean up the mess he made when he knocked it over. Let your child know disobedience angers you. Raise your voice. Why would you want your kid to feel good about himself when he has sinned?


It’s your responsibility to demonstrate in your home what I hope you want your child to do later on. That is to recognize sin. To be ashamed of sinning. To recognize the devastating consequences for sin. To understand that sin makes you (and God) very angry. Then to experience what ┬áit means to be forgiven when they come to you and ask for it.

Raise your children to be accountable for their actions, accidental or intentional. Raise them to want to do what is right for fear of consequences, for fear of your wrath, for fear of the awful feeling that comes when they are guilty of something. Don’t raise your children to say, “I’m sorry,” so they can get out of consequences. But raise them to ask for forgiveness because they are truly ashamed of what they did, and want you to forgive them, to restore a broken relationship between you and them.

Raise your children to be ready to go to their Heavenly Father, and receive all that Jesus died to give them.