“Your nakedness shall be uncovered, yes, your shame will be seen; I will take vengeance, and I will not arbitrate with a man.” Isaiah 47:3
It appears that many people think that God is much like our legal system that can be moved to give puny sentences, even for fairly serious criminal offences, or even be given what amounts to a non-sentence – a “good behaviour” bond.
After being found guilty of a crime lawyers do their best to get their client off the hook so far as penalty is concerned. They may claim it is someone else’s fault or the result of unexpected circumstances. They may try and shift the blame to society, to parents, to friends or just being with the wrong crowd; anything in an attempt to reduce their client’s responsibility. An appeal that it is “out of character” is always false. We all act according to our character. An offender may come to court with an outward appeal that is unrecognisable to their friends. A new suite, neat hair and groomed in all outward appearance including body attitude and facial expression; anything that gives an appearance of righteousness is appropriated.
Anyone who thinks that God can be fooled by this hypocrisy will be bitterly disappointed. The unforgiven sinner who appears before Him will be wholly exposed as to his guilt as one naked before God. There will be no hiding behind the excuses that one may use in an earthly court and no one will be cleared by blaming the devil. He did not make them do it.
Isaiah 47:4 reminds us that God is holy and is therefore unable to allow sin in His presence. This is the basis of God’s judgment. He is holy, He is sinless and totally without corruption.
Anyone who thinks they will be able to debate or argue with God with regard to entrance into His kingdom is grievously mistaken. He says that He “will not arbitrate with a man.” Each person will have to accept responsibility for their own choices and actions. They will not be able to shift blame and they will be held accountable.
But there is good news! Christ Jesus died for our sin! Paul writes, “The wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). We cannot gain eternal life or entrance into heaven by attempting to mitigate our culpability or reduce the penalty for sin. God will not arbitrate. However, we may gain eternal life and heaven as a gift but that gift is bound up in Jesus Christ. John writes, “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe on His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” (1:12, 13). Later John wrote, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
If we try and debate with God about our sin He will not hear or participate. He knows all there is to know and He judges with perfect justice. However if we agree with His judgment of our sin and the due penalty He pleads with us to ask Him to forgive us our sin as a gift; “the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord”.