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Devotional Thoughts for Today
“Sin Leads to Exile”
This is the number of the people whom Nebuchadnezzar carried away captive: in the seventh year, 3,023 Judeans; in the eighteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar he carried away captive from Jerusalem 832 persons; in the twenty-third year of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard carried away captive of the Judeans 745 persons; all the persons were 4,600.
I love wedding vows because they ultimately point to the covenant that God has with us. In a nutshell, the vows are a promise to love the other person, regardless of what kind of mess comes up. But as powerful as wedding vows and covenants are, it doesn’t negate the fact that sin leads to exile. Each time my wife and I get into an argument, there’s a tension between us that’s so thick you could cut it with a knife. Until reconciliation is made, we don’t make eye contact; we hardly speak to each other; we don’t dare to touch each other; and there’s a disconnect in our intimacy. Until one of us decides to lay down our pride, we remain in a relational “exile” from each other. Of course, it doesn’t mean our marriage covenant was over (Praise God!). No, the covenant is always there, but the covenant doesn’t change the fact that sin still affects our relational intimacy. The good news is, as long as at least one party decides to act upon the covenant… exile is always temporary.
Our passage today is a record of the Israelites going into exile. Long before this passage, God had entered into a covenant with Abraham, promising to be faithful to Abraham’s descendants—the Israelites. But unfortunately, Israel continued to sin against God. Although they had been warned again and again by prophet after prophet, the Israelites didn’t realize the true effects that sin has on their relationship with God. As long as sin remains in our hearts, there’s a disconnect in our intimacy with Him. And this is essentially what the exile was, a physical manifestation of the spiritual disconnect between Israel and God. Of course, it didn’t mean that the covenant was over (Praise God!). No, the covenant is always there, but the covenant didn’t change the fact that sin still affects our relational intimacy with God. The good news is, as long as at least one party decides to act upon the covenant… exile is always temporary.
We often take sin too lightly. We are tempted to think that because we are in such a great covenant with God—and since He is so gracious—that sin doesn’t really matter so much anymore. But, as in any relationship, sin still affects the relational intimacy. It’s only when we understand the effects of sin and learn to hate it, that we can truly enjoy living in the covenant. Is there any hidden sin in your life? Perhaps it has been the reason for some tension between you and the Lord. He’s always ready to receive you and reconcile with you, so come to Him today with a heart of repentance and humility.
Prayer: Thank You, God, for Your covenantal love. Thank You that even when we are unfaithful, You are always faithful. Nevertheless, help us to love You more. Teach us godly wisdom, and how to hate sin. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: John 9-10