Monday, October 05, 2009

The State of our Souls, the Simplicity of our Sin

During the Scripture reading at church yesterday, I was struck by a particular
phrase: "...because of the uncleanness and rebellion of the Israelites, whatever
their sins have been." This may not be the precise interpretation of that phrase,
but it occurred to me that any sin, ALL sin, boils down to those two things:

By the mere fact of being human, our very souls are in a state of Uncleanness.
The implied question -- "compared to what?" -- has an obvious answer: God Himself.
In view of His complete and utter Holiness and Purity, we are filthy and wretched
paupers, draped in the rags of our own corruption. Any true and legitimate view
of Almighty God must begin here.

As if merely being full of impurities were not enough, we then rebel, in countless
ways, against the authority and sovereignty of God, putting word and deed to the
root of all sin, Idolatry (worshiping anything but GOD as our god(s)...) Whether
it is pleasure, or pride, or other false gods, anything short of a pervasive and
persistent attitude of, "be it done unto me according to Your will", offered to
God from a spiritual, face-down position in dust and ashes, is, quite simply,
Rebellion. God as "part of my life" instead of "God as the supreme Center of
my life", and any failure to seek His will above ALL ELSE -- any failure to be
completely poured out before Him -- is Rebellion. All of our sin comes down
to this simple word.

This phrase -- "uncleanness and rebellion" -- struck me as pretty much covering
the whole gamut of our true condition, the condition which made the atoning
sacrifice of Christ necessary. Indeed, this phrase comes from Leviticus 16, and
the entire chapter discusses the visceral, brutal, savage procedures that Aaron
was instructed to use, to make atonement for Israel: Slaughtered animals, blood
all over the place and flung here and there using his finger, and then the
sending of a "scapegoat" into the desert, and the wearing of clean linens...

... all because of our uncleanness and rebellion.

Join me today and take a few moments to pause what you're doing, and just imagine
the scene... Imagine yourself lying flat on your face, trembling uncontrollably,
petitioning a Holy and Pure God -- the God of the Universe -- to look upon the
cross of Christ and sponge away your Uncleanness and forgive your Rebellion.

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