April 03, 2008

The Consequences of Sin

Isaiah 1:7-9

Unless the LORD Almighty had left us some survivors, we would have become like Sodom …
Isaiah 1:9


Sin always has consequences. The northern kingdom, Israel, was feeling the heat of judgment. Their surviving inhabitants had been scattered as refugees throughout the surrounding nations. In their place came soldiers of the conquering Assyrian army and their families.

Judah’s northern boundaries were also under siege. Gradually, the pressure of Assyria seemed to gain ground. But Judah did not heed the warning of God’s judgment. As a result, many of Jerusalem’s outlying neighborhoods and communities experienced the same fate: “laid waste as when overthrown by strangers.”

But the light of grace shines even in deepest darkness. Isaiah calls to mind Sodom and Gomorrah as examples of God’s judgment against sin. Through Abraham’s intercession, our merciful Lord held back on their total destruction until Lot had left the city (see Genesis 18-19). In the towns surrounding Jerusalem too, some people survived the onslaught. These survivors became a faithful remnant who would serve as salt and light in a nation that was on a collision course with the Holy God.

God has a way of preserving a faithful witness in every place to give testimony to his grace. Take a look at yourself. In a world that is undergoing seismic moral and religious shifts, are you part of God’s faithful remnant today?

Holy Father, your Son, our Lord Jesus, took upon himself the weight of all our sins. May your Word and Spirit help us to overcome the sin that surrounds us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

About the author — Victor Atallah

Rev. Victor Atallah is the broadcast team leader for The Back to God Hour Arabic ministry and the general director of Middle East Reformed Fellowship. These meditations are based on texts of Arabic broadcasts aired a few years ago and an Arabic commentary on the book of Isaiah prepared for publication. Rev. Atallah and his wife, Lisa, live in Larnaca, Cyprus, where The Back to God Hour Arabic ministry is based. The ministry reaches Arabic-speaking people throughout the Middle East and North Africa, introducing them to Jesus Christ, Savior of the nations.

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