why will you still be struck down?

    why will you continue to rebel?

the whole head is sick,

    and the whole heart faint.

from the sole of the foot even to the head,

    there is no soundness in it,

but bruises and sores

    and raw wounds;

they are not pressed out or bound up

    or softened with oil. [isaiah 1:5-6]


isaiah’s rebuke of judah is filled with the rhetorical device of questioning, and this method is helpful when we engage others (and ourselves) when we fall into patterns of sin:


“why do you want to continue in broken relationships?”

“why do you want to continue to reap the consequences of your sin?”

“why do you want to fill your head and heart with words and images that you will regret later?’

“why do you persist in inviting the just wrath of God and the punishment of eternal hell?”


yes, there are earthly consequences of sin (the first three questions) but there are also eternal consequences if we persist in rebelling against God as well. judah will experience consequences for their rebellion, but so will we–we are quick to say “yes, but God will forgive!” and i agree, but his forgiveness is for those who seek his face, and live a life of repentance before him.


if we seek to be struck down, if we live a life of repentance-less rebellion, we may hear the words: ‘i never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ do you believe in a literal eternal hell?  do you speak this way to your friends and neighbors?  do you speak this way to those who call themselves christians, but live lives of rebellion towards God?  is it in your vocabulary to say–”if you persist in your sin, you are going to hell.”?


maybe you believe that language is too harsh–but as christians should not shy away from it. 


but, oh, in that next breath to say–”turn from your sin–and run to Jesus, and receive the forgiveness that is freely offered!” when we spend time in the presence of our merciful God, we can first-hand, experientially point to our rebelliousness and our unmerited freedom we have in the forgiveness of sin. today, run to Jesus, thank him for allowing himself to be struck down for your rebellion.  by his stripes, our bruises, sores and raw wounds–all our sins–were bound up, softened with oil, and healed in the death of our Savior, Jesus. 


~ ce