When We Take pride in our Sin



Scripture

Jer. 17:1   The sin of Judah is written with an iron pen; with a diamond point it is engraved on the tablet of their hearts, and on the horns of their altars, 2 while their children remember their altars and their sacred poles, beside every green tree, and on the high hills, 3 on the mountains in the open country. 

Observation

The ten commandments had been inscribed by the finger of God on stone tablets. This is where the law resided and yet, the prophets had foretold that eventually the law would be written upon the hearts of God’s people. Sadly, the law was not engraved upon their hearts, but rather, their sins. 

With no regard for God, they proudly offered their sacrifices to other gods. The law of God was replaced in their hearts with the engraving of their own sin. So bold was the sin that it was engraved with a diamond point on the tablet of their hearts. 

The altars became engraved with their sins as they continued to live contrary to the laws of God. Sacrifices had to be made over and over again until their sins had permanently stained the altars as a reminder of their wickedness. Atonement was becoming impossible.

That which became engraved on the heart became visible in the actions of the people. They seemed to take pride in their sin, wearing the effects on the clothing of their very lives. 

Application

Who would ever have imagined that the people of God would become so consumed with their own sinful way of life that they would be willing to suffer the consequences? Sadly, this is just what happened to the Israelites as they dug in their heels and with great pride continued to live in their sin. 

We have the beautiful privilege of living in a time when the Holy Spirit can write the laws of God on our hearts. Instead of being led and directed by sin, we can enjoy beautiful fellowship with our holy God which leads us to a fulfillment of the law of God within our hearts and lives. Unfortunately, we become tempted and can be drawn in a direction where we become so accustomed to sin that we begin to take pride in all the bad things that we can do. In contrast to those who may be living for Christ, we choose to go a different direction and flaunt our new-found “freedom” around those “church goers” until our ears are finally closed to any kind of rational conversation. Our pride and our sin take us far from the path of life which God has already prepared for us. 

God’s people eventually turned a deaf ear to the prophets. They refused to listen to the voice of God and chose to go their own way.When we begin to believe that we are smarter than everyone else around us we will be led astray by a false sense of importance. This is all the deception of the evil one! The result is jealousy, anger, revenge and a destruction of interpersonal relationships. People who used to be friends and serve God together in the church instead pick on one another, magnifying every personal flaw, putting them on display for all the world to see. In arrogance we righteously declare our right to highlight the problems in others and thus we take a self-righteous pride in our sin for we refuse to acknowledge it is sin and live in the deception that we are actually helping to weed out a problem. In the meantime our sins become etched on our hearts. 

Why would any of us want to have our sins indelibly written on our hearts and influencing our actions? I really can’t imagine but far too many are headed in that direction. Our behaviors are directed by that which is written on our hearts. No matter how hard we try to “fake it,” eventually the truth will come out because, when push comes to shove, we will respond from our heart. 

Jesus paid the price so that the motivation for sin could be removed. The etchings of a diamond point can be erased by the holy love of God. The result is a change in behavior that bubbles out and touches a very desperate world, and there is no longer any pride in a life of sin. 

Prayer


Lord, may the diamond point of your Holy Spirit’s presence in my life continue to work in and through me.  Amen.

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