Ashamed Over Sin
by Jim Hughes
I prayed, “O my God, I am utterly ashamed. I blush to lift up my face to you. For our sins are piled higher than our heads, and our guilt has reached to the heavens.” (Ezra 9:6, NLT)
The children of Israel had not kept themselves separate from the people around them. They had intermarried with the people around them and embraced their gods. They had defiled themselves and defied God who had clearly told them to do neither. When Ezra discovered what they had done, he was driven to his knees before God.
Ezra blushed in God’s presence. He was ashamed of how God’s people had conducted themselves. He was embarrassed by their behavior. I wonder when the last time was that we blushed in the presence of God. Have you ever been embarrassed and ashamed of the behavior of others? What about your own behavior?
A careful reading of God’s Word reveals sin in us. I suspect many of us don’t like spending very much time reading and studying the Word because we are afraid of what we may find there. We don’t scrutinize our behavior and thought lives because we know that we will come up short. We take the low road instead of the high road because it requires so much less of us.
The problem is the way to heaven is always the high road. The high road is the road to holiness. God commands that we travel on it. There is no condemnation for those who do it. There is guilt, shame, and embarrassment for those who don’t.
Which road are you traveling on today?
Blushing is a good thing if it moves us to pray for others and ourselves. It is good for us to recognize and acknowledge the sin that plagues us. It is good for us to approach God and seek forgiveness whenever sin is found. It is good for us to pray for those who can’t, or won’t, pray for their own sin. Sin is an abomination to God, and He will judge it wherever it is found. We will reap what we sow.
Pray while there is still time to pray.
About the Author
I am a retired pastor having served the church mainly as a bi-vocational pastor for over 40 years. I have been married for over 40 years and we have two married children and a single son.
I have an online ministry, posting daily devotionals and tweeting on faith and marriage.
I have authored a series of devotional books covering every book of the Bible and several marriage books.
You can read Jim’s “Sunday Inspiration” column on the 4th Sunday each month here at Mustard Seed Sentinel.