Text: “But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you, that He will not hear. For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue hath muttered perverseness. None calleth for justice, nor any pleadeth for truth; they trust in vanity, and speak lies; they conceive mischief, and bring forth iniquity.”
Good morning, constantly confounded Christian! What has you and I in a constantly confounded state? What circumstance, or event, or trend in civilized society today would drag God’s genuine people into a state of being constantly confounded and annoyed? Furthermore, IF - as genuine Christians - we are NOT in this constantly irritated and confounded state - perhaps we should make doubly sure that we are, in fact, Spiritually reborn children of the Living Lord God! Take heed, Christian!
Confounded: To be confounded, basically, is to be perplexed, to be astonished; to be deeply annoyed and irritated by some event or trend that is taking place which shocks us to the core, and leaves us wondering how such an event, trend, phenomenon could ever have happened, or continues to manifest itself within our society or territorial sphere of social/religious influence.
Thus, when Bible-believing, Spiritually regenerate, Christians witness the fundamental principles and practices of true Bible-based Christianity being broken down, ignored, or totally compromised by those in Christian society responsible for their maintenance - we become first amazed (confounded) and then deeply irritated. When such trends of unbelief are seen to, not only persist, but to be promoted by religious leaders - then we become really angry. Praise God for Christians who are angry against sin!
“Be ye angry, and sin not…” (Ephesians 4:26) I have been told in recent times by a fellow professing Christian that I am ’an angry man’; and after praying and assessing myself afresh, you know, that person is quite right. Increasingly, I am becoming quite an ’angry man’; but not perhaps in the same spirit that the accusation was delivered.
The Scripture above from Paul’s epistle to the Ephesians exhorts us to ’Be ye angry, and sin not…’; which seems like a Biblical paradox to my mind; for how can we ’…be angry…’ yet ’…sin not…’? Many in the universal Christian church today believe, erroneously, that it is ALWAYS a sin to be ’angry’. What nonsense! The Lord would not exhort us to ’…be angry…’ if merely being angry was a sin! Our Holy Lord God will not encourage us to commit sin, nor tempt us to sin, for He is Holy. Fact.
I maintain openly today that it is NOT a sin to be angry IF the Christian is being ’angry’ at evil; personal and societal sin; speaking lies; speaking and practicing perverseness; failing to promote and practice justice; not speaking God’s revealed truth and preaching the Gospel clearly; trusting in human vanity, office, ’men-pleasing’, and bribery; conceiving mischief by making laws contrary to Bible-principles and Christian morality; ruling a nation unfairly on behalf of any given privileged class.
All the above listed ‘iniquities’ separate us from the face of our true and Holy Lord God of wrath against sin; against unChristlikeness; against perversion and corruption - and, as Spiritually regenerate Christians, we MUST get angry when our Christian societies are practicing all this sin; angry enough to pray to God for judgement upon such sin, and angry enough to speak out against it - just like I am doing right now!
Verse 9. “Hide not Thy face far from me…” The Holy Lord God will, in fact must, hide His face from us, even true Christians, when we are engaged in personal or social sin. Our Bible text for this morning states this fact of God’s nature most clearly!
“But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you, that He will not hear.” (Isaiah 59:2)
Sin separates us from God. God is angry at the state of the professing Christian church worldwide today in this increasingly apostate, compromising, 21st Century! If the Lord God is angry at the state of His professing church, and we are called to be Christ-like - we too must be angry at the sinful, lazy, too-well-fed; compromising apostates responsible for this backsliding! We are merely being angry - but we do not let our righteous anger cause us to sin. We do not try to work this ungodliness out of the church by use of the arm of our foolish flesh. Thus, we ARE angry, but we sin not.
Verse 9. “…Put not Thy servant away in anger. If the Living Lord God were to deal with us without grace, we would ALL be consumed in an instant because of our sins.
Verse 9. “…Thou hast been my help, leave me not. If the Lord were to leave us, as He left the sin-blind Samson, we would have no help to withstand the current apostasy sweeping the Christian church worldwide today. But with His help, we must speak out the truth of His Word - to fail to take such a stand is to join and embrace the apostasy.
Verse 9. “…Neither forsake me, O God of my Salvation. True born again Christians cannot lose their Salvation - for it was never theirs to lose in the first place. ‘Salvation is of the Lord!’ (Jonah 2:9) Salvation is ‘…the gift of God, not of works…’; the Lord has promised ‘I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.’ (Hebrews 13:5-6)