The voice of the Lord cries to the city—
and it is sound wisdom to fear your name:
“Hear of the rod and of him who appointed it!
10 Can I forget any longer the treasures of wickedness in the house of the wicked,
and the scant measure that is accursed?
11 Shall I acquit the man with wicked scales
and with a bag of deceitful weights?
12 Your[c] rich men are full of violence;
your inhabitants speak lies,
and their tongue is deceitful in their mouth.
13 Therefore I strike you with a grievous blow,
making you desolate because of your sins.
14 You shall eat, but not be satisfied,
and there shall be hunger within you;
you shall put away, but not preserve,
and what you preserve I will give to the sword.
15 You shall sow, but not reap;
you shall tread olives, but not anoint yourselves with oil;
you shall tread grapes, but not drink wine.
16 For you have kept the statutes of Omri,
and all the works of the house of Ahab;
and you have walked in their counsels,
that I may make you a desolation, and your inhabitants a hissing;
so you shall bear the scorn of my people.”
Punishment, judgment, and enduring the consequences of their sin was what the nation of Israel were facing due to choosing to live wicked lives. Sin was running rampant through the nation of Israel and they were not living a life that was honoring to God.
God had been so faithful to the nation and had provided them with land, victory and comfortable pleasures. He had lead them through many dangerous circumstances and made them an example of what it means to have God fighting for them. Yet when faced with the temporary temptations of this world, they fell so easily to what the world had to offer them. Sin began to look better then living for God.
When reading through this passage, God’s judgment may come across as severe and harsh. However, that is the whole point. If our God is Holy then He cannot just allow for sin to run freely without their being extreme consequences. He has to act in a way that will show just how destructive sin is. The nation of Israel were to be set-apart from the rest of the world. They were to live as shinning lights to all who were around them. Going against that meant that God had to remind them what happens when sin enters into the picture.
Sin has a way of living in our lives each day. However, as Christians we are given the tools and means to fight against it and rely on God’s strength to say no to sin. We all struggle with sin, here the Israelites had taken it one step further then just a struggle and it became a life style for them. God saw the dangers of what sin was doing and had to intervene. God in His mercy and grace is shinning a light on what darkness truly is and so that we can see why we need to choose to follow after Him and His word.
God’s Grace never disappears from the picture. Sometimes Grace means being put through the fire-filled consequences of sin in order for us to be made new and strong again in Him. When God actively works to bring you back from sin, follow His lead by confessing your actions, accept His forgiveness, and ask for strength to keep walking in righteous way.
[Featured image from redeemerdenton.com]