A Freaked Out Prophet

I’ve invented a game, and it’s called “Blame Your Sin”. Here’s how the game works. Whenever you sin, think of someone else to blame your sin on. The goal of the game is to keep your “guilt meter” low, and the only way to do this is by blaming your sin on other people. I’ve become very good at this game in recent years. I was recently in a pastoral meeting, discussing an element of the Sunday meeting with the other pastors, Joe and my dad. I had one opinion, they had another. In my wicked pride, I was convinced that my way was the right way and that they were just being old fashioned. Turns out I was just being proud.

In His kindness God began to convict me of my sinful pride. And it was then that I began to play “Blame Your Sin”. In my mind I began to justify my sin, blaming it on both Joe and my dad. I needed a sharp slap in the face to snap me out of it. I needed to see God as Isaiah saw God. Hear the words of Isaiah 6:1-5:

In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!”And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!”

Isaiah caught one glimpse of the holiness of God and all blaming stopped. The moment he saw God, he became aware of his overwhelming, soul-defiling, filthy guilt. He made no attempt to blame his sin on someone else, no attempt to justify his sin, no attempt to make himself look less guilty. Isaiah knew beyond the shadow of a doubt that he was guilty, guilty, guilty, and he was certain that he was doomed. Isaiah’s sense of guilt was so overpowering that he uttered a prophetic curse over himself, a curse normally used to declare the coming wrath of God on guilty sinners. Isaiah doesn’t blame others, he curses himself.

When was the last time you saw your sin in light of God’s blazing holiness? Are you tempted to justify your sin or to blame it on others? A true glimpse of the glory of God will silence our blaming tongues and cause us to curse our wretched souls. We will say with Paul, ” Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” (Rom 7:24) And a true understanding of the gospel will cause us to fly to our Savior, the only one who can deliver us from the curse we deserve. We will rejoice with Paul, who said, “Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!”

Let us fly to the Savior today, placing all our hope in the One who took our blame.

Comments

  1. Anonymous says

    Amazing humility and honesty Stephen. Thank you for sharing. You are definitely slaying the pride in your life and pleasing the Lord. Thank you for leading the way. (This was very convicting.)

    Vicki G.

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