The Meaning of All Misery

“Therefore, the meaning of all misery in the world is that sin is horrific. All natural evil is a statement about the horror of moral evil. If you see a suffering in the world that is unspeakably horrible, let it make you shudder at how unspeakably horrible sin is against an infinitely holy God. The meaning of futility and the meaning of corruption and the meaning of our groaning is that sin — falling short of the glory of God — is ghastly, hideous, repulsive beyond imagination.

Unless you have some sense of the infinite holiness of God and the unspeakable outrage of sin against this God, you will inevitably see the futility and suffering of the universe as an overreaction. But in fact the point of our miseries, our futility, our corruption, our groaning is to teach us the horror of sin. And the preciousness of redemption and hope.”

– John Piper, “Subjected to Futility in Hope, Part 1” (sermon preached at Bethlehem Baptist Church on April 22, 2002)

HT: OFI

Whew – heavy!

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Thoughts on Isaiah 29:9-24

I came across these incredible verses last week while doing my quiet time:

9 Astonish yourselves [2] and be astonished; blind yourselves and be blind! Be drunk, but not with wine; stagger, but not with strong drink!
10 For the Lord has poured out upon you a spirit of deep sleep, and has closed your eyes (the prophets), and covered your heads (the seers).

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Thanksgiving

If you haven’t ready Lamentations 3 recently, today would be a good day to do so (here).

(ESV) Lamentations 3:1 I am the man who has seen affliction
under the rod of his wrath;
2 he has driven and brought me
into darkness without any light;
3 surely against me he turns his hand
again and again the whole day long.

4 He has made my flesh and my skin waste away;
he has broken my bones;
5 he has besieged and enveloped me
with bitterness and tribulation;
6 he has made me dwell in darkness
like the dead of long ago.

[More of the same… but do read the whole chapter!] Continue reading

Materialism, pursuing pleasure, and a holy God

[Update, September 6th, 2008: I’ve seen an interesting trend of late – this post is getting translated into Arabic!  For any future visitors reading this post in Arabic: السلام عليكم – and welcome!]

I started reading through Isaiah a few days ago. I read chapter 5 this morning, and these verses jumped out at me:

Is 5:8 Woe to those who add house to house and join field to field, until there is no more room, so that you have to live alone in the midst of the land!
9 In my ears the LORD of hosts has sworn, “Surely, many houses shall become desolate, even great and fine ones, without occupants.
10 “For ten acres of vineyard will yield only one bath of wine, and a homer of seed will yield but an ephah of grain.”
11 Woe to those who rise early in the morning that they may pursue strong drink, who stay up late in the evening that wine may inflame them!
12 Their banquets are accompanied by lyre and harp, by tambourine and flute, and by wine; but they do not pay attention to the deeds of the LORD, nor do they consider the work of His hands.
13 Therefore My people go into exile for their lack of knowledge; and their honorable men are famished, and their multitude is parched with thirst.
14 Therefore Sheol has enlarged its throat and opened its mouth without measure; and Jerusalem’s splendor, her multitude, her din of revelry and the jubilant within her, descend into it.
15 So the common man will be humbled and the man of importance abased, the eyes of the proud also will be abased.
16 But the LORD of hosts will be exalted in judgment, and the holy God will show Himself holy in righteousness. (NAS)

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