Lamentations 1-2, Psalm 29
Imagine just for a minute you were asked by the pastor of your church to join him for a few minutes in front of the congregation. You excitedly walk up believing that you will be honored for your service or some act that you have done. What you don't realize is that the pastor was given a vision of everything that you did and thought that day and was going to share it with everyone that you knew at church. He starts out with what you were daydreaming about at 10:11 AM. From there he moves on to a few of the conversations that you had off to the side not wanting others to hear. From there he goes on to describe what you were doing on your phone or behind closed doors. He finishes with describing the thoughts and motives behind all that you did publicly. Every single one of us would be mortified and would probably leave the church and never come back. If anyone else was called to join the pastor in the front he would run out the door. Though we like to exalt and display our good acts, if everyone saw every other part of your life the good acts would not seem so grand. Worse than that, though those in the congregation would fare no better than you, they would somehow feel in a position to judge you. This example is fictitious for any human pastor, but God actually does see us that clearly but chooses to be patient with us, He chooses not to broadcast it to others, and by the blood of His Son, He allows it to be paid for by Jesus, since each and every sin can not be overlooked and we are completely impotent to pay for it ourselves.
We read in Lamentations 1:8, "Jerusalem has sinned gravely, Therefore she has become vile. All who honored her despise her Because they have seen her nakedness; Yes, she sighs and turns away." Notice the thoughts and actions of Adam and Eve after their sin in Genesis 3:7-8, "...Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings. And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden." We read part of the problem in Lamentations 2:14, "Your prophets have seen for you False and deceptive visions; They have not uncovered your iniquity, To bring back your captives, But have envisioned for you false prophecies and delusions." Many preachers today do the same thing. They keep the message positive and fill the churches with people who brazenly sin yet feel no shame for it. Doing this is the same lying delusion as was done to the people of Judah before being taken into captivity. We cannot hide anything that we do from an all-seeing and all-knowing God. We read how David acknowledged this in Psalm 139:1-4,7-12, "O Lord, You have searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and rising up; You understand my thought afar off. You comprehend my path and my lying down, And are acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word on my tongue, But behold, O Lord, You know it altogether...Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning, And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, Even there Your hand shall lead me, And Your right hand shall hold me. If I say, "Surely the darkness shall fall on me," Even the night shall be light about me; Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You, But the night shines in the day; The darkness and the light are both alike to You."
Most have not come to faith in Jesus Christ, because by parading their good acts before others, they somehow believe that their good acts outweigh their bad acts and based on their own works they have obtained what is required to earn heaven. To this everyone should ask themselves the question, "If it was this easy or based on our good works, why was it necessary for Jesus to leave heaven, become a man, and die for our sins?" The reason why pride is such a deadly sin (Proverbs 6:16-17), is that it deludes us into thinking that we can do it on our own and that we don't need Jesus. Again, for anyone who feels they can stand on their own two feet before a Holy God, just remember Hebrews 4:13, "And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account." Like it or not we stand naked and completely exposed before the eyes of God. When Adam and Eve stood in their nakedness before God, we read in Genesis 3:21, "Also for Adam and his wife the Lord God made tunics of skin, and clothed them." This covering required the sacrifice and life of the animal that the skins came from. Likewise when we stand naked and guilty before the Father, covered in our own sins, if we confess and repent of them, God covers us with something more precious and long-lasting. God covers the repentant sinner with the covering of His Son, Jesus. May we never forget the cost. Our covering cost us our Savior's life. God has freely offered His grace to any who are willing to submit and desire it, but it didn't come easy and we should never cheapen His grace.
Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley: