Come Down, Lord #9 – The World is a Mess
You might recognize one of Isaiah’s more familiar passages when he says:
“All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away. No one calls on your name or strives to lay hold of you; for you have hidden your face from us and have given us over to our sins” (Isaiah 64:6-7).
This gives us an image of human depravity. Depravity does not mean that we are as bad as we can be. But rather, our sinful nature shows up in everything we do.
Isaiah gives us another image when he says: “In the wilderness prepare the way for the LORD; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain. And the glory of the LORD will be revealed, and all people will see it together. For the mouth of the LORD has spoken” (Isaiah 40:3-5).
In ancient times, when a king decided to visit his people, he would send a messenger ahead to announce his coming. The people would prepare for his arrival by building a highway.
They would fill the valleys. Level out the high places. Straighten out the crooked places. Remove stones and roots from the rough places. When the highway was ready, the king would come.
Every one of us has a valley of sinful involvement that needs filling in. A high place of pride that needs bringing down. A crooked place that deviates from God’s path and needs straightening out. Stones and roots of lust, envy, resentment, and greed that need removing.
If we don’t deal with the sin in our life, then we might as well stop talking about renewal and revival and refreshing. Dealing with sin is not easy. Repentance is not easy. Asking for forgiveness is not easy. Dying to our self-centered ways is not easy.
We have wronged God. Wronged others. Wronged ourselves. The world is a mess and we have added to it. The problem is within.
Action Step: How do these images of sin and repentance speak to you today in your relationships with others and with God? Is there something you need to do right now?
~ Pastor Dave