In Isaiah 1:4 God laments the sin of His people Israel — a lament which unfortunately could apply to our own nation: “Alas, sinful nation, people weighed down with iniquity.”
There are actually SEVEN descriptions of the sin of God’s people in this ONE verse:
— “sinful nation”
— “people weighed down with iniquity”
— “offspring of evildoers”
— “sons who act corruptly”
— “they have abandoned YHWH”
— “they have despised the Holy One of Israel”
— “they have turned away from Him”
Seven may symbolize the ultimate number here, that Israel has totally and ultimately turned its back on God in their sin and rebellion.
Significantly, verses 5-9 then go on to describe the CONSEQUENCES of their sin:
“Where will you be stricken again as you continue in your rebellion? The whole head is sick and the whole heart is faint …” Verse 6 describes them like a body that is covered in wounds. And the sad picture continues: “Your land is desolate …like a besieged city … unless YHWH had left a few survivors, we would be like Sodom … like Gomorrah.”
One thing is very clear in this passage: there are consequences for sin. You cannot sin like verse 4 describes and not face consequences for it. When you abandon God, you WILL suffer as a result.
— This is true for a nation, like Israel — or like our own, which is currently taking the same road Israel took, towards imitating Sodom & Gomorrah.
— But this is also applies to us as individuals as well. Many today are suffering the consequences of their sin. Truly, not all suffering is the direct result of sin, but we would also be foolish not to recognize that much suffering is indeed self-induced, as a consequence of one’s sin.
Therefore heed “a word to the wise.” If you know that there is an area of your life in which you are purposefully disobeying God, and it seems like things are going against you, you need not wonder why. Your sin is bringing about its inevitable result. And if you are currently disobeying God’s word, but haven’t felt the consequences yet, don’t be foolish and think that you can continue and nothing will happen. Don’t mistake God’s patience with you for a lack of concern. There are always consequences for sin.