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Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, That it cannot save; Nor His ear heavy, That it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear. For your hands are defiled with blood, And your fingers with iniquity; Your lips have spoken lies, Your tongue has muttered perversity. No one calls for justice, Nor does any plead for truth. They trust in empty words and speak lies; They conceive evil and bring forth iniquity. They hatch vipers’ eggs and weave the spider’s web; He who eats of their eggs dies, And from that which is crushed a viper breaks out. Their webs will not become garments, Nor will they cover themselves with their works; Their works are works of iniquity, And the act of violence is in their hands. Their feet run to evil, And they make haste to shed innocent blood; Their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; Wasting and destruction are in their paths. The way of peace they have not known, And there is no justice in their ways; They have made themselves crooked paths; Whoever takes that way shall not know peace.

Isaiah 59:1-8

How often we found ourselves caught in the spot, wondering how can a good God not rescue us from our trials. Perhaps God had diminished in strength or if His hand had become shortened. Isaiah the prophet assures us that this is not the case.

If God punishes people, does it mean He is loving people any less? Well, that is simply how the world defines love; that love is real only when others (including God) are being kind to us.

So if you enter a church and you start mingling with believers struggling with sin and punishment, there is this bizarre situation, where subtle things will be done to imply to you to love them. When they preach to you, they’ll have this constant stigma of explaining God’s love in their own ways, and often done without substance or merits. When they turn, they’ll go back to picking verses from the Bible to show that if they are not loved, it means you don’t love God.

But this is not how the Bible taught us to preach the Gospel. If we are a church that preaches love, first and foremost we are not suppose to do things to hurt others. And we don’t drag people with our schemes or falsely accuse anyone. If we do such things, we will inadvertently make ourselves become answerable to our deeds. What happens next then becomes a repercussion of sin and it has nothing to do with lack of love. The prophet Isaiah defined clearly that it is sin that separates us from God, which in turn cause more problems.

If we are caught in our own traps to answer to our own wickedness, and when God punishes us, it is not because He love us any less but essentially we are deserving of what we are getting. And God did not stop there or halted options for us; He gave us a way out and that way is called repentance. But if we refuse to undertake repentance, then again it is to be counted on our own shortcomings and this has nothing to do with anybody loving us less.

But if pastors keep speaking to believers about love but never teaching what exactly the Bible said we should and should not be doing in regards to loving God and our neighbors, we will indefinitely move round and round in circles, repeating the same script every week, but going nowhere.

Sin separates us from God and it is sin that clouds our vision of true love and what it beholds in Life. Isaiah 59 laments our wretched state and condition, which is displeasing to God, which must first be addressed before all else. Sin creates a sense of gap from God, leaving a tarnishing film on a person’s mind. To the pure, all things are pure but to those who are defiled, nothing is pure. And what is good is then called evil and what is evil is called good.