I thought I'd write about this while the thought was still semi-fresh in my brain. It has to do with sin, God, salvation, & judging. Looking at that combination of topics, it doesn't look like it's gonna be a great post, but hang with me here. This is gonna be about me. If you get something out of it, then that would be awesome, but I just wanted to share with you where I'm at.
So yesterday, I was doing my daily bible reading (...BTW I'm trying to read thru the bible in a year w/ Youversion. just click on that logo on the right to see where I'm at...) and the verse that stood out to me was Isaiah 11:4. It reads...
He will give justice to the poor and make fair decisions for the exploited. The earth will shake at the force of his word, and one breath from his mouth will destroy the wicked. Isaiah 11:4 NLT
Now what I feel like God showed me in this verse was not just because of reading this particular verse. It's that plus the EVERYTHING that came before. Bible, Church sermons, life experience, etc.
So here's what I thought first. I thought that this was super hopeful. The LORD will give justice to the poor and make fair decisions for the exploited. Very much a church appropriate verse. Paints me (the hearer) as the poor which the LORD came to save. Also for all the injustice that is going on in the world, the LORD will give justice to those who have been wronged.
Then the next part, I usually just skim over. You know the part where the LORD comes to lay the smack down on the bad guys and all EVIL people of the world! It reads...
The earth will shake at the force of his word, and one breath from his mouth will destroy the wicked.
...destroy the wicked.
I don't know why, but that part stuck in my head. Then I kinda started thinking...wondering if I...was the wicked. I mean, you know how you can think that you're one thing, but others perceive you as the opposite? That would suck so bad if when the LORD comes to bring justice...I think I'm "the poor" and on the good end of the stick...but really I'm "the wicked" and I get whooped! I mean the bible talks about that sort of thing in Matthew 7:22-24.
So I was kinda stuck for a while. How do I avoid the possibility of being the wicked? Then I felt like the LORD came and saved me all over again with this thought:
Admit that you are wicked.
Admit that you are wicked...because that is who the LORD has come to save. Those who see their wickedness but who also humble themselves and confess their need for a savior.
I think that for the longest time I look at myself as a "christian" and say that yeah, I've done some not so good things, but not like "THIS GUY" who murdered, stole, etc. But thinking about salvation with an American judicial filter is the wrong way to go because that's not really how God sees it. The way most of us see things is the harsher the crime, the harsher the penalty. But the way the LORD sees it is this: the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23NIV). Period. Big sin or little sin, all sin leads to the same place. And that is humbling for me to realize. To be honest, I thought I was better than the murderer, or the adulterer, or the thief, and on and on. But really we are the same.
That's not going to change the way that people see me. But I really do pray that it changes the way I see others. That I would be slow to judge & slow to condemn...and that's difficult.
So that's just where I'm at. Kind of a scattered blog entry. But those are the things that came to mind. If anybody wants to discuss, I'm open.
Thanks for reading.