This morning I read a passage that convicted me. This passage is from Deuteronomy:
“Remember this and never forget how you aroused the anger of the Lord your God in the wilderness. From the day you left Egypt until you arrived here, you have been rebellious against the Lord. At Horeb you aroused the Lord’s wrath so that he was angry enough to destroy you.”
(Deuteronomy 9:7-8, NIV)
“And the Lord said to me, ‘I have seen this people, and they are a stiff-necked people indeed! Let me alone, so that I may destroy them and blot out their name from under heaven. And I will make you into a nation stronger and more numerous than they.’
“So, I turned and went down from the mountain while it was ablaze with fire. And the two tablets of the covenant were in my hands. When I looked, I saw that you had sinned against the Lord your God; you had made for yourselves an idol cast in the shape of a calf. You had turned aside quickly from the way that the Lord had commanded you. So, I took the two tablets and threw them out of my hands, breaking them to pieces before your eyes.
“Then once again I fell prostrate before the Lord for forty days and forty nights; I ate no bread and drank no water, because of all the sin you had committed, doing what was evil in the Lord’s sight and so arousing his anger. I feared the anger and wrath of the Lord, for he was angry enough with you to destroy you. But again, the Lord listened to me. And the Lord was angry enough with Aaron to destroy him, but at that time I prayed for Aaron too. Also, I took that sinful thing of yours, the calf you had made, and burned it in the fire. Then I crushed it and ground it to powder as fine as dust and threw the dust into a stream that flowed down the mountain.”
(Deuteronomy 9:13-21, NIV)
When I read this passage, I questioned my heart for God and my understanding of God. Do I know God so well that when I know I’ve sinned, I would get on my hands and knees, fast, and begged Him to forgive me? Would I keep begging for forgiveness until I hear Him tell me I am forgiven just as Moses begged for forgiveness for the Israelites for forty days and forty nights without food or water until God answered him?
As I reflect on all the times I’ve sinned and how I would pray and ask for forgiveness. I can’t recall waiting to hear His response of forgiveness. I definitely have never fasted as a way of asking for forgiveness. (I’ve only fasted when I have a request for something I want). Why? I just assumed I am forgiven. I bought into the fact that Christ came down and died to wash away my sins (John 1:29) and that when I pray and ask for forgiveness, I shall receive it (1 John 1:9).
All of this is true, but my friends, where is my heart of repentance, my grievance because of my sin? Where am I with God if I am not so upset about my sins that I would starve until I am cleansed?
But what is sin?
Sin is a wrong committed against God. How do you know you’ve sinned? When you’ve gone against or broke the Ten Commandments given by God.
God gave these Commandments as a way of living for us because He cares for our wellbeing. When we chose to break any of His commandments, we are then rebellious in our hearts toward His teaching.
It’s not so simple as “offending” Him or because He has an ego (He does not). It is because we disregarded His care and love for us and cast Him away with our actions because they do not align with what He’s set for us.
I remember when I first found God. I realized how sinful I’ve lived and I cried out to God asking for forgiveness and for Him to guide me and show me the way. I would be genuinely heartbroken for having turned away from Him for even one moment. He’s done so much for me, how could I look elsewhere? I feel that as I get closer to God or as I live under the title of being a “Christian” my heart has hardened to a certain degree that I do not repent like I used to. I think I feel entitled and think that I am saved because I believe even though I am not living according to God’s words.
I am blessed to read this passage and given this message that I mustn’t grow weary and fall prey to sin. I mustn’t forget who I truly belong to. The Lord deserves my highest level of respect.
I need to reexamine my relationship with God and relearn/know Him. How much more would I beg and fall to my knees because I’ve let Him down? If I were to listen and know Him, how fearful would I be of Him that I would fall face down and pray for His mercy with my whole heart?
When my heart knows even a little of the love He has for me, I know my heart would cry out in agony when I know I’ve done wrong against Him. My heart would hurt the same way it does when I hurt someone close to me.
There is no sin too small or too great – sin is sin (we cannot measure the gravity of our sins; God’s measurement is different from our own).
When we sin, let’s understand the graveness of our sin and understand how God responds to such a sin. The bible has examples of how our sins anger God (see verses above), so much so that at a certain point He wanted to end our lives (see verses above) but by the goodness of His heart He showed mercy to those who begged for forgiveness. God has established His covenant with us; He will not end our lives in anger.
Friends, let’s not take His mercy and grace for granted, but rather, let’s get to know more about our God and learn to truly fear His wrath and know His great blessings, His love, when we abide by His words.