Isaiah 59 starts off with the prophet making a very clear statement about the problem mankind has – its sin. “Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save, or his ear dull, that it cannot hear; but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear”. People during Isaiah’s time wondered why God was not rescuing them from their trials. They thought maybe He was running out of power. That was not, and will never be the case. The issue is entirely different.
The problem is the choice we make to sin. That’s the first thing we have to understand. Sin is absolutely a choice. It isn’t a mistake or accident. It is a willful decision to disobey God. Period and end of story. There is no other definition or way to soft sell the seriousness of what sin is. We choose to sin. “For your hands are defiled with blood and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies; your tongue mutters wickedness”. Our hands are dirty. We don’t accidentally sin. We make a choice. And there are consequences to sin – some serious ones.
Sin never removes us from God’s love. However, sin does have consequences according to Guzik:
- Sin separates us from fellowship with God, because at least at the point of our sin, we no longer think alike with God.
- Sin separates us from the blessing of God, because at least at the point of our sin, we are not trusting God and relying on Him.
- Sin separates us from the some of the benefits of God’s love, even as the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32) was still loved by the father, but didn’t enjoy the benefits of his love when he was in sin.
- Sin separates us, in some way, from the protection of God, because He will allow trials to come our way to correct us.
But the biggest consequence of sin is what happens if we don’t address it – eternal separation from God. He can’t overlook it. We must confess, repent and receive His gift of grace – Jesus Christ – who went to the Cross to pay the price for our sin.
Isaiah defines the sin of God’s people and makes clear that they were missing the mark. God is not pleased, but He still loves His people. “The Lord saw it, and it displeased him that there was no justice. He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no one to intercede; then his own arm brought him salvation, and his righteousness upheld him….a Redeemer will come to Zion, to those in Jacob who turn from transgression….this is my covenant with them”. God will make a way. God did make a way. Jesus is that way – our Redeemer, our Salvation, our Lord!