“The heart is deceitful above all things
And it is extremely sick;
Who can understand it fully, and know its secret motives?”
Jeremiah 17:9, Amplified
“The Lord observed the extent of human wickedness on the earth, and he saw that everything they thought or imagined was consistently and totally evil.”
The Bible in its tremendous insight, never once makes humans out to be wonderful creatures. I think we would all volunteer to be that way. But we are not. Rather the opposite is quite true. We are manipulators, rascals, liars and sinners.
There is not a single iota of evidence that we can become exceptionally kind, loving and holy people in any sense of the word.
Somehow we generate a lot of self-deceit.
We trick our own hearts into believing that we are such noble people. We ignore evidence that would convict us otherwise. The prophet spoke to his generation in Jeremiah 17. He would speak directly to people who thought they were true and good. Jeremiah called this a lie, a serious miscalculation, especially when the opposite was true!
This is not the way “to win friends and influence people.” So many pastors, priests, elders, and leaders have a desire deep down to be acceptable and relevant. But God says, we are rascals, tricksters, phonies. Something inside is sick. There can be no human remedy. We simply cannot become religious enough to surmount our profound sin. Pride and selfishness opposes God and harms others.
As a boy living in Northern Wisconsin, on a farm somewhat, we found one of our dogs killing chickens. He was a nice dog, quite friendly and very gentle. But when he started in on the chickens my dad decided to intervene. One of the dead chickens was recovered. My father wired that dead chicken to our dogs neck, nice and tight. That dog wore that rotting chicken for several weeks. Finally the dog laid down, foaming and tongue lolling, eyes rolled back. He was profoundly sick. So Dad cut off the decaying remains.
The SPCA would have a fit. But that dog would never again chase a chicken, or even think of killing one. But even so, our sin is disgusting to God. We just seem to do evil without considering Him or others we effect. It’s all about us, as we think we can just skate through this “problem” without any issues. But Jeremiah tells us we are rotting inside.
We all carry around a dead chicken. I must tell you the truth, you’re terminally ill. You are quite sick, in the most essential part of you.
But Jesus died to free you. He’s the only One who can.
“Our life is full of brokenness – broken relationships, broken promises, broken expectations. How can we live with that brokenness without becoming bitter and resentful except by returning again and again to God’s faithful presence in our lives.”
We are a broken lot of confused people, and we have never solved the mystery of our own iniquity. In those rare, fleeting times we step into clarity, we are ashamed and disturbed by what we see. Our awful sin needs a wonderful Savior. Jesus does what we could never do.
Jesus died to free us from death. He has come to cut us free from our spiritual evil.
He has died to destroy our sin. But there is much more. He gives us real life–eternal life. His life!
“Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.”