Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Trouble with Sin

The Word for today: Haggai 2

We all say that we want the truth, but very often the truth is difficult to receive.

It's hard enough to tell someone that they have spinach stuck in their teeth, try telling people that they are sinners and that many of the things they do are sinful.

That is part of Haggai's task in today's passage.

God wants His people to better understand His holiness and the nature of sin. Therefore He does not mince his words- he wants Israel to know their true condition.

To do so, God gives two seemingly obscure illustrations involving things like meat and clothes and corpses. (It sounds like the beginning of a bad Arby's joke.)

Haggai is told to ask the priests some questions.


Because he was referring to the Law & sacrificial system, and they would have known the appropriate answers. He gives two separate examples:

Example A
Consecrated Meat (is HOLY)

Garment (becomes HOLY) see Lev. 6:27

Other Food (doesn't become HOLY)

Example B
Dead Body (is UNCLEAN)

Person (becomes UNCLEAN)

Other Foods (become UNCLEAN) see Num. 19:22

What is God getting at?

The point is that uncleanness is more contagious than holiness.

We have all heard the story of KING MIDAS: how he received the Golden Touch, and whatever he laid his hands on became pure gold. Well, we as sinful people also have a similar ability- the Filthy Touch: whatever good thing we find has a way of becoming unclean by our sin.

God’s indictment here is against not only the people’s sin, but also the fact that because of their sinfulness, everything they do is tainted

The standard drink, the liquid fuel that sustains our youth group meetings is a nasty Kool Aid knock off called Flavor Aid (see above for picture). Its cheap & colorful and loaded with sugar- what else does a junior higher need? But the packet itself hardly weighs anything registering at .15 oz. Yet that one packet added to a gallon of water (128 oz) makes the entire thing very red. Think of the difficulty of removing that redness and then remember the packet is just .192 % of the gallon.

That's how sin works. Scripture supports this idea:
“A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough." (Gal. 5:9)

Sin is a big deal, because not only does it offend a holy God, but also because it corrupts us to the core. God is making a point here to his people that not only have they sinned, but that they are sinners. They need to come to grips with their sin, they need a Savior who can make them clean. That same Savior is prophesied here in Haggai and then again in Zechariah.

Jesus Christ is what the hymn writer calls “the double cure.” He saves us not only from wrath, he also makes us pure. Only He can save us from both the power and consequences of our sin.

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