The Most Sorry Statement

  • July 7, 2011
  • #7614

Joni shares that like the Israelites, God encourages to turn from our sin and cry out to Him.

It is the most sorry statement in Scripture…

Hi, I'm Joni Eareckson Tada and after reading through the Bible for almost 5 years now, Ken and I have come across this one statement repeated so many times. In fact, as we were reading last night, there it was again, smack in the middle of another Old Testament chapter, and what a sad statement it is: "Again, the Israelites did evil in the sight of the Lord."

          You know, I'm not sure how many times that statement is repeated in the Old Testament, but Ken and I got the hint a long time ago – the hearts of God's people, they are so prone to wander.  Wander right into evil.  You kick your heart into neutral, thinking you’re okay but where will it drift to?  You got it… wickedness.  Always and always, the people of God are battling the world, the flesh and the devil.  And we don’t often win.

          Like Ken said to me last night after we closed the Bible, that fact alone keeps us humble.  Oh, to be sure, unlike the Israelites in the Old Testament, we have the Spirit of God dwelling within us.  That should give us an advantage, right?  We ought to know better.  We have power to resist idols.  But instead, having the gift of the Holy Spirit only sometimes seems to make it harder because we, if anyone, have no excuse; we have every resource to refuse sin; we if anyone should know how dangerous idols are.  Because with every temptation, the Holy Spirit is right there, warning us and cautioning us. 

          For us, the dangers are greater, aren’t they? Danger of pride, puffed up pride that we are better than our counterparts in the Old Testament.  Because admit it… be honest… how often have you read accounts of the Israelites sinning and thought to yourselves, What’s the matter with those guys?  I mean, If I lived back then, I wouldn’t have bowed down to idols, or tried to cheat God, or forgotten to honor my vows.  Oh yeah?  It could easily be said of us, "Again, they did evil in the sight of the Lord."  When we stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ described in I Corinthians chapter 3, I think we will be held to a much higher standard than our Old Testament brothers and sisters… because we have God living right inside our hearts, convicting, comforting, and convincing us of the right way. 

          Which is why… sorry statements about our disobedience don’t have the final word.  Because there’s another statement in the Bible and it, too, is oft repeated.  But it is one of the most hopeful statements in Scripture, and you’ll find it in one chapter after the next, for it says: "Once again, the Israelites turned from their sin and cried out to God."  I tell you, that’s what encouraged Ken and me last night after our Bible reading!  Our sin may overwhelm us… puffed-up pride, cherishing inflated ideas of our own importance, ignoring the needs of others, hogging the spotlight, not giving credit where credit’s due, I could go on and on and on.  My sin, at times, crush me.  But!  Like my buddies in the Old Testament, God encourages me to turn from my sin and cry out to Him.  And I do, Ken does as well!  

          I hope I’ve given you an up close and personal look at my husband Ken and me today, and for an even closer look, I invite you to watch a video of my husband and me that I’ve posted on my radio page at  Believe me, we’re as honest and open as I’ve been with you today.  Because the bottom-line is, turn from your sin, friend; turn from it and join Ken and me in crying out to God!

© Joni and Friends

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