009 | Separation


This reading from Isaiah reminds us once again that God is against sin. That means we should be too, for several important reasons. First, sin separates us from God (v. 2). ... Second, sin leads to a breakdown of fundamental values. ... Finally, sin causes a rejection of truth."

Whitney T. Kuniholm wrote this in reflecting on Isaiah 59 in his book The Essential Jesus: 100 Readings Through the Bible's Greatest Story. This is my ninth post as I journal through this book.

Surely the arm of the LORD is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear. (Isaiah 59:1-2)
This is at the very heart of the Christian Faith. You will find this theme running like a thread through the entire Bible. The separation between humans and our Creator effects everything. All of us, deep inside, have a desire to close this gap. God created us without the gap, without a separation. God created us to live near him in complete unity and peace. We were designed for a close, intimate and direct relationship with God. But we humans, specifically Adam and Eve, rebelled under the leadership of Satan (Genesis 3:1-24). We rejected God's authority and have gone our own way. Philip Yancey describes this rebellion in his book Disappointment with God.

By their choice they put distance between themselves and God. Before, they had walked and talked with God. Now when they heard his approach, they hid in the shrubbery. An awkward separation had crept in to spoil the intimacy. And every quiver of disappointment in our own relationship with God is an aftershock from their initial act of rebellion."

We deal with this rebellion, its consequences, and separation from God every day, probably almost every moment of the day. Both the problem and the solution are spoken about in Chapter 59 of Isaiah. Yes, the thread of our separation from God runs through the entire Bible, but there is another thread that runs throughout God's Word. If the first thread is black, perhaps this second thread is red. As we see in these verses God provides the solution. This gap can be closed! God has the power to close this gap, or perhaps more accurately bridge the separation. "The Redeemer will come ..." The price will be paid. Jesus will bridge this separation.
He saw that there was no one, he was appalled that there was no one to intervene; so his own arm achieved salvation for him, and his own righteousness sustained him. (Isaiah 59:16) ... "The Redeemer will come to Zion, to those in Jacob who repent of their sins," declares the LORD. (Isaiah 59:20) ..."
The Redeemer has come! He has paid the price! Jesus has bridged the separation!

| More on the Essential Jesus journey. |

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