Tag Archive | sin

Psalm 106

Praise the Lord. Tell Him how good He is.
Give thanks to the Lord because He is good, because His love endures forever.
Endures. In spite of our inconsistencies, in spite of the hurt we cause Him, His love endures.
No one can fully declare His praise because no one fully knows Him.

Blessed are they who try to know You, who maintain justice and constantly try to do what is right – Your will.
Remember me when You show favor to Your people, come to my aid too, save me too, let me enjoy the prosperity of Your chosen ones, let me share in the joy of Your nation, let me join Your inheritance by praising You.

We have sinned, done wrong, acted wickedly.
We have taken Your miracles for granted.
We have taken Your kindness for granted.
We have rebelled.

You have saved us for Your name’s sake, to make Your powers known.
You have dried up the Red Seas that try to overwhelm us – the seas of sin, negative attitudes, doubt, low self-esteem.
You have saved us from our adversaries.
Then we believe Your promises and sing Your praise.

But we soon forget what You have done, and act without waiting for Your counsel.
We give in to our cravings and put You to the test.
Then we grumble and don’t obey.
We rebel against Your Spirit.

Yet You hear our cry and Your enduring love intervenes again.

Praise the Lord!

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The Lamb of God

There He stands before me; patiently, lovingly waiting. I have followed Him for many years. But the Father wants me to go deeper. So now Jesus awaits my approach.

According to the Law, I am to lay my hand upon the head of the sacrifice offered to atone for my sin (Leviticus 1:4). This is the Son of God I approach. I have come to know Him and love Him (as much as a finite human mind and heart can come to know and love an infinite, unfathomable Being). I approach tentatively, partly because of who Jesus is, mostly because I know what I am and what I’m supposed to do.

I have no problem in admitting I’m a sinner in need of a sacrifice, but the closer I come, the more of my sin I see. I have tried to not sin, but I fail miserably at times with my harsh tongue and even harsher thoughts. When I see someone else’s sin, deep down a part of me knows I could do the same and worse without much prompting.

Another struggle erupts within me. I have always fought to save innocent life, from the teenage couple considering an abortion, to the butterfly trapped in a puddle. Jesus is so innocent, so perfect. I don’t know if I can do it. I’ve also known the pain of being unjustly accused and suffering for someone else’s mistakes. I don’t see how I can reach out and put my hand on the head of one I have come to love, knowing the agony He will suffer because of me and my sin. On the other hand, my selfish, sinful self doesn’t want to die the horrible death that awaits Jesus. Part of me knows that I would reach out my hand in a heartbeat to avoid that death and let Someone else do it for me. What a wretched soul I am!

The closer I come, the harder I cry. I’m drawn to His kind, gentle loving face, but I’m repulsed by the ugly sin and conflict within me and I keep looking away. Then I hear His quiet voice, “You are the butterfly trapped in a puddle.” I gasp sharply and look up. Our eyes meet. I hear familiar words, like the ones spoken to John the Baptist at His baptism. “Let it be so now. Let us fulfill the Law, for this is why I came.”

The love in His eyes and the tenderness in His voice draw my trembling hand up to the top of His head. I rest it there a moment, and then gently draw it down to the side of His face. I whisper, “I’m so very sorry.”

Psalm 51

It take a lot of nerve to lust, commit adultery, lie, plot and murder and then ask God to be merciful.  But then again, not nerve, just a truly guilty and repentant heart.  Any sinner can come to God and ask Him to be merciful and He will be because of His constant love for us.  It takes a heart that recognizes its sin and believes that God can and will be merciful.  Because of God’s mercy, He wipes away all our sins, no matter what they might be.  He also doesn’t keep score, for the child of the parents of lust, adultery, lies and murder went on to become one of the greatest kings of  Israel!          

Forgiveness means:           God is merciful

                                              God wipes away our sins

                                              God washes away all our evil

                                              God makes us clean from our sin

                                              God judges us

                                              God condemns us

                                              God removes our sins

                                              God washes us whiter than snow

                                              God fills our mind with wisdom

                                              God closes His eyes to our sins

                                              God wipes out all our evil

                                              God creates a pure heart in us

                                              God puts a new and loyal spirit in us

                                              God doesn’t banish us from His presence

                                              God doesn’t take His Holy Spirit from us

                                              God give us joy again

                                              God make us willing to obey

                                              God spares our life

Sometimes we recognize our faults and are conscious of our sin too much.  After we have asked God for forgiveness, we must believe that He does indeed forgive us.  Then we ourselves must forget our sin, or at least choose to not recall it.

Even though David sinned against Bathsheba’s husband, he says he has sinned only against God.  When we sin against another person, it is really God we have sinned against.  When other people sin against us, it is really God they have sinned against.   

In verse 7, the Hebrew word for purify (chata), is the same Hebrew word translated “sin”.  I find that absolutely amazing.  That means God wastes no time in forgiving us.  We chata and He chata – forgiveness so quickly, we don’t even have to change words!  If only we could ask forgiveness and repent as soon as we sin, then we could be instantly cleansed!  

God requires sincerity and truth.  Giving our all.  Our best.  No nonsense.  He doesn’t leave us hanging.  What He requires, He provides.  He requires sincerity and truth and provides wisdom.  Can’t get any easier.  The hard part is accepting the gift of what God wants to give.   

We can choose to be happy.  All we have to do is ask for His forgiveness and accept it.  If we’re still not happy, we either don’t fully believe and trust in His forgiveness or we haven’t fully forgiven ourselves.  

Obeying God’s commands is simply being loyal to Him.   

Joy and obedience are requirements for teaching others.

Speaking out about God and praising Him go hand in hand.   

A humble spirit is a sacrifice.  A sacrifice of pride.

Psalm 38

David asks God to not punish him when He’s angry.  God may indeed have been punishing him, but it’s more that sin and guilt separate us from fellowship, and that outside fellowship, life is miserable.  God may have made David’s body sick, but probably David’s guilt and lack of acceptance of God’s forgiveness also made David’s body sick.

You know all my desires, O Adonai.

I will wait with hope for You, O Yahweh.  You will answer, O Adonai, my Elohim.

There is hope and comfort in the midst of agonizing distress.

Psalm 32

When we ask God to forgive our sins, we received blessings and happiness.

As we confess our sins, the deceit we use to cover them up leaves and we are more open to fellowship with God. The energy we spend in being guilty is now spent on growing in the Lord instead.

When we keep silent about our sin, God’s hand becomes heavy upon us – there are so many things that God wants to share with us that they start building up. God can’t share with us because our sin is in the way – we’re too busy being guilty.

God will not bridle us – He gives us free choice.

Confession and Restitution

“Then he shall confess his sins which he has committed and he shall make restitution in full for his wrong, and add to it one-fifth, and give it to him whom he has wronged.” Numbers 5:7 (NASB)

Confess – the Hebrew word is yadah. Literally, yadah means to use the hand, especially in worship (with extended hands). In the intensive form, as it is here, it means to bemoan (by wringing the hands). The essential meaning is an act of acknowledging what is right about God in praise and thanksgiving. It can also mean right acknowledgment of self before God in confessing sin. God wants us to be more expressive in our relationship with Him. More expressive and more demonstrative. If we pray using ACTS (Adoration Confession Thanksgiving Supplication) then adoration would be hands up and outstretched wide with joy and gladness, even ecstasy. Confession would be wringing the hands. I see thanksgiving hands in many expressions – sometimes uplifted, sometime clasped close to the heart. Supplication would be hands folded and moving around as the depth of our plea changes. If human parents are touched and encouraged by their children’s expressions and demonstrations of love, how much more so must God be! Just as we and our children need to experience expressions and demonstrations of love, so does our God.

Committed – the Hebrew word is asah, meaning to do or make, ion the broadest sense and widest application; to do, make, accomplish, complete. It conveys the central notion of performing an activity with a distinct purpose, a moral obligation, or a goal in view. Sins are committed with a distinct purpose and a goal in view – pleasing ourselves, getting what we want. Sin doesn’t usually “just happen”. We frequently have that deer in the headlight look on our faces when we’re confronted with our sin, but if the truth be told, subconsciously, we’ve thought about what we wanted for quite a while and may have even planned and plotted different ways to get it.

Make restitution – the Hebrew word is shuwb, to turn back (hence away). To turn, return, go back, do again, change, withdraw, bring back, reestablish, be returned, bring back, restore, recompense, answer, hinder. In its simplest sense, the word means to return, restore, go back. There are three parts to making restitution. The first part is to turn away from the sins(s). The second part is to return to God. Just as a contrite child accepts their parents’ discipline, we must accept God’s for He disciplines the children He loves so much. The third part is to make amends to the people we’ve hurt, restore to them what they lost because of our sin(s) if that’s possible. Stolen property can easily be replaced, but hurt feelings and damaged faith and trust require God’s healing and our obediently following God’s leading in how to help in that healing process.

In full – ro’sh – from an unused root apparently meaning to shake. It’s a masculine noun meaning a head, hair, person, point, the top, the beginning the best, a chief, a leader. It has many metaphorical meanings. The Interlinear Bible translation is “in its principal”. I think it means God is going to shake us up when we confess. Our pride gets shook the most. In fact, true confession shatters our pride like a glass dropped on concrete. In its principal – we recompense what we can and leave the interest to God. Several Hebrew idioms use the word. To bring something down on one’s head means to get vengeance, therefore making restitution in full showers one with grace. The word also means beginning and the process of making amends needs to start at the beginning.

Wrong/wronged – ‘asham – meaning to be guilty or to do wrong. It’s most often used to describe the product of sin – that is, guilt before God. We have guilt before God and we have guilt before the person we’ve wronged. We must ask forgiveness of both. If we’re sincere in seeking forgiveness, God always forgives immediately. People however, sometimes hold a grudge for a while. Some never forgive and that is not our fault, but theirs. The unforgiving person will have to answer to God for their unforgiveness – they do not have to answer to us. We can’t allow their unforgiveness to keep us mired in guilt. God frees us as soon as we confess and repent.

So let us be more expressive in our relationships, quick to confess, and truly repentant when we sin.

Psalm 51 for a loved one in rebellion

Be gracious to them, O God, according to Your lovingkindness; according to the greatness of Your compassion blot out their transgressions. Wash them thoroughly from their iniquities and cleanse them from their sin. Make them know their transgressions and show them how their sin is ever before them. May they come to realize that against You, You only, have they sinned and done what is evil in Your sight, so that they know that You are justified when You speak to them and blameless when You judge them. May they clearly hear when You speak to them.

May they come to know that they and everyone else was brought forth in iniquity, born with a sin nature. Show them that You desire truth in their innermost being, and in the hidden part make them know wisdom. Purify them with hyssop, and make them clean; wash them and make them whiter than snow. Make them to hear joy and gladness, let the bones which You have broken rejoice. Hide Your face from their sins and blot out all their iniquities.

Create in them a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within them. Do not cast them away from Your presence, and do not take Your Holy Spirit away from them. Bring (or restore) to them the joy of Your salvation, and sustain them with a willing spirit. May they teach transgressors Your ways and may sinners be converted to You because of their testimony.

Deliver them from bloodguiltiness, O God, God of their salvation; may their tongues joyfully sing of Your righteousness. O Lord, open their lips, that their mouth may declare Your praise. Teach them that You do not delight in sacrifice, that there is nothing they can do to earn their salvation. Show them that You are not pleased with their efforts. Break their spirit, break their heart, and break their pride. May they come to know that You do not despise a broken and contrite heart.