I remember exactly where I was on September 11th 2001. I was working in Rhourd El Baguel, Algeria when a friend came to my office to tell me that an airplane had just flown into one of the twin towers in New York City. The thought of such a thing was beyond belief but it was true. Every year since I think about that day, my thoughts, fears and a hatred I had for people who would do such an evil thing.
A thought comes to mind as we get close to 9/11. When I recall the events of that day and the days afterward, I think that the evil acts of that day are no different than the evil that I commit when I sin against a holy, holy, holy God. What I saw on 9/11 gives me a glimpse of what my own sin is like. It’s evil and it’s against the one who gives me life and who has provided for me, though his Son, forgiveness of my sin. What Jesus bore on the cross was my sin, my very own sin and He died as a once for all time sacrifice so that I can know forgiveness.
Romans 12:9 says “Abhor what is evil”. The word “Abhor” means to despise, to hate bitterly. It expresses a strong feeling of horror and contains the idea of separation.
Sin is not cute or funny or to be lightly regarded or excused. Sin is despicable and deadly, and God’s instructions to His people go past that of not sinning ourselves, but commands us to detest, loathe and hate sin. It is not to be tolerated or danced around or chucked under the chin, as would a mother pet a favored child. For sin is insidious and to be greatly feared. Make no mistake, sin is evil.
Do we see our sin properly?
Do we see our sin the same way God sees our sin?
Take this 9/11 to consider your sin and what it really is and how you should really feel about it.
Father, help me to feel the same way about my sin as I felt about the evil I saw on 9/11/2001. Father, help me to see my sin the same way as you see my sin. Amen.
Yet I Sin
Thou are good beyond all thought,
But I am vile, wretched, miserable, blind;
My lips are ready to confess, but my heart is slow to feel, and my ways reluctant to amend.
I bring my soul to thee; break it, wound it, bend it, mould it.
Unmask to me sin's deformity, that I may hate it, abhor it, flee from it.
My faculties have been a weapon of revolt against thee; as a rebel I have misused my strength, and served the foul adversary of they kingdom.
Give me grace to bewail my insensate folly,
Grant me to know that the way of transgressors is hard, that evil paths are wretched paths, that to depart from thee is to lose all good.
I have seen the purity and beauty of they perfect law, the happiness of those in whose heart it reigns, the calm dignity of the walk to which it calls, yet I daily violate and contemn its precepts.
Thy loving Spirit strives within me, brings me Scripture warnings, speaks in startling providences, allures by secret whispers, yet I choose devices and desires to my own hurt, impiously resent, grieve, and provoke him to abandon me.
All these sins I mourn, lament, and for them cry pardon.
Work in me more profound and abiding repentance;
Give me the fullness of a godly grief that trembles and fears, yet ever trusts and loves, which is ever powerful, and ever confident;
Grant that through the tears of repentance I may see more clearly the brightness and glories of the saving cross.
The Valley of Vision