Shame for Sin
To experience shame for sin is a hopeful sign that repentance and faith in God is still a real possibility.
Today’s reading: Ezekiel 43-44; 2 Peter 2
10 “As for you, son of man, describe to the house of Israel the temple, that they may be ashamed of their iniquities; and they shall measure the plan. 11 And if they are ashamed of all that they have done, make known to them the design of the temple, its arrangement, its exits and its entrances, that is, its whole design; and make known to them as well all its statutes and its whole design and all its laws, and write it down in their sight, so that they may observe all its laws and all its statutes and carry them out. Ezekiel 43:10-11
9 then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment, 10 and especially those who indulge in the lust of defiling passion and despise authority. 2 Peter 2:9-10a
God gave Ezekiel an elaborate vision of a new temple. The details go on and on. Ezekiel dutifully records all of the measurements and the layout of this temple. God tells him that he is to describe the temple to the people of Israel so that they may be ashamed of their iniquities. The glory of God was reflected in the temple and it seemed possible that this description would spur some to shame for their sin. At the same time, the temple held a message of hope of salvation. Here in this place of God’s throne provision was made for a sacrifice for sin. The gospel of Jesus Christ was in the temple, if we rightly understand it.
In Peter’s time, there were false prophets and teachers who were completely insensitive to sin. He goes into detail about their deceptions and schemes to lead believers astray. Peter shows how God in the past has brought judgment on those who rebelled against Him: evil angels, the wicked society of Noah’s day, and Lot’s neighbors in Sodom and Gomorrah. So God has shown that He is able to rescue the godly, like Noah and Lot, and keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment. In view here in particular are those who indulge in the lust of defiling passion and despise authority.
If there is anything which describes the mainstream of our society today, it is indulgence “in the lust of defiling passion” and the despising of authority. But is there shame for this kind of sin? Shame is seen not as a good emotion leading to healthy repentance and to seeking God’s forgiveness but rather as a result of poor self-esteem often brought on by a severe religious upbringing.
If this world is trying you, trust Him who knows how to rescue the godly from trials in amazing ways. Pray that God may grant our unbelieving loved ones shame for sin that leads to repentance and faith.