God Is Honest with Us about Sin
"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23)
Have you ever been told: "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say it!"? If you have, it was probably your parents stopping you from saying something mean to your brother or sister!
Sometimes the things God says to us in His Word do not seem very nice. In fact, sometimes God says very honest and serious words that can be hard to hear. Have you ever wondered why sometimes it seems like God says mean things about people in His Word? Here are some of God's words to us about ourselves:
"The heart [of man] is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked." (Jeremiah 17:9)
"For the wages of sin is death." (Romans 6:23)
"There is none that doeth good, no, not one." (Psalm 14:3)
These are very hard things to hear, but God says them. People often say, "The truth hurts." But sometimes the truth is the best possible thing for you.
What if you had a dentist appointment, but the dentist who examined your teeth would not tell you what he was seeing? Imagine that he looks into your mouth and says, "Hmmm." You would not want to be left in the dark if he sees something wrong. You might say, "What is it? What's wrong?"
Now, what if the dentist sees that you have a very bad cavity. He would know that your cavity needs to be fixed before it causes you lots of pain and trouble. But what if he were afraid to upset you with the bad news, so he just says: "Well, everything looks great! I've never seen someone with such great teeth! See you next year at your checkup!"
Later on, if your teeth started hurting, you probably would not be very happy with your dentist! In fact, you would probably go find another one! After all, your dentist was the expert. He was the one who was supposed to examine your teeth and help you. He was not honest with you when you most needed him to be honest with you. And now you have a terrible toothache!
Sometimes we need to hear things that are not very easy or pleasant to take. But we still need to hear them! We never have to worry about God not being honest with us. In His Word, He tells us exactly the bad news that we need to hear. The bad news is that we are all sinners and the wages of our sin is death. Our sin separates us from God! Now that does not sound very nice, but it is the truth!
We can be thankful, though, that God does not just leave us with the "bad news." He tells us the bad news so we can realize that we need the Good News (the Gospel). He has the solution to our problem! Look at the last part of Romans 6:23--"The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." And God also tells us in I John 1:9 that "if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
Even though the truth can be hard to hear, it is the best thing possible. Your dentist might tell you that you need a root canal or a couple of your teeth pulled out. But afterwards, you would not get a toothache! After the bad news, we are able to enjoy the good news. We can be glad that God is honest with us about the bad news so that we can understand and trust in the Gospel.
God tells us the truth, even when it hurts.
» Since God has been honest with me about my sin, what do I need to do about it?
» Am I willing to trust and obey whatever God says, even if it is not what I wanted to hear?
Truth In Real Life
"Learning to trust is one of life’s most difficult tasks.”
The name “Isaac Watts” is printed in nearly every modern hymnal today. Born the oldest of nine children on July 17, 1674, Isaac Watts would go down in history as “The Father of English Hymnody” – the father of hymns in the English language. Many of the 600 hymns he wrote during his lifetime are still sung today, including “I Sing the Mighty Power of God,” “Joy to the World,” and “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross.”
Watts intended to spend his life as a pastor, but shortly after accepting the job at his first church, he got very sick and never fully recovered. As a result of his poor health, he was forced to stay at home and write. Not surprisingly, God used Watts’ illness for His glory. Many of our hymns would never have been written had he not been sick enough to have to stay home!
Besides writing hymns, Watts wrote books on all kinds of other subjects – like astronomy, ethics, geography, and grammar. His writing was published by Benjamin Franklin, and his books were used in colleges around the country.
Standing only five feet tall, with a very weak and feeble body, Watts did not imagine God would ever use him – but how wrong he was! God used this poet – and continues to use him today! – in churches around the world. One of his little known hymns includes the following words:
Happy the man whose hopes rely
On Israel’s God: He made the sky,
And earth, and seas, with all their train:
His truth for ever stands secure;
He saves th’oppressed, He feeds the poor,
And none shall find His promises vain.
Do you doubt that God could use you in spite of your shortcomings and limitations? Encourage your heart with biblical truths about Whose strength and power and knowledge really matters (God’s!). Some of Watts’ hymn lyrics might help you meditate on right thoughts about God, too!
Ephesians 5:19 – Speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.