The Origin and Nature of Sin
A daily devotion for February 9th
3 On the day the Lord gives you relief from your suffering and turmoil and from the harsh labor forced on you, 4 you will take up this taunt against the king of Babylon:
How the oppressor has come to an end!
How his fury has ended!
5 The Lord has broken the rod of the wicked,
the scepter of the rulers,
6 which in anger struck down peoples
with unceasing blows,
and in fury subdued nations
with relentless aggression.
7 All the lands are at rest and at peace;
they break into singing.
8 Even the junipers and the cedars of Lebanon
gloat over you and say,
“Now that you have been laid low,
no one comes to cut us down.”
9 The realm of the dead below is all astir
to meet you at your coming;
it rouses the spirits of the departed to greet you—
all those who were leaders in the world;
it makes them rise from their thrones—
all those who were kings over the nations.
10 They will all respond,
they will say to you,
“You also have become weak, as we are;
you have become like us.”
11 All your pomp has been brought down to the grave,
along with the noise of your harps;
maggots are spread out beneath you
and worms cover you.
12 How you have fallen from heaven,
morning star, son of the dawn!
You have been cast down to the earth,
you who once laid low the nations!
13 You said in your heart,
“I will ascend to the heavens;
I will raise my throne
above the stars of God;
I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly,
on the utmost heights of Mount Zaphon.
14 I will ascend above the tops of the clouds;
I will make myself like the Most High.”
15 But you are brought down to the realm of the dead,
to the depths of the pit.
16 Those who see you stare at you,
they ponder your fate:
“Is this the man who shook the earth
and made kingdoms tremble,
17 the man who made the world a wilderness,
who overthrew its cities
and would not let his captives go home?”
18 All the kings of the nations lie in state,
each in his own tomb.
19 But you are cast out of your tomb
like a rejected branch;
you are covered with the slain,
with those pierced by the sword,
those who descend to the stones of the pit.
Like a corpse trampled underfoot,
20 you will not join them in burial,
for you have destroyed your land
and killed your people.
Let the offspring of the wicked
never be mentioned again.
21 Prepare a place to slaughter his children
for the sins of their ancestors;
they are not to rise to inherit the land
and cover the earth with their cities.
22 “I will rise up against them,”
declares the Lord Almighty.
“I will wipe out Babylon’s name and survivors,
her offspring and descendants,”
declares the Lord.
23 “I will turn her into a place for owls
and into swampland;
I will sweep her with the broom of destruction,”
declares the Lord Almighty.
How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of Dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! You said in your heart,(Isaiah 14:12, 13a, 14)I will ascend to heaven, I will raise my throne on high above the stars of God... But you are brought down to the grave, to the depths of the pit.
These verses describe a supernatural figure who, in the invisible world of the spirit, is behind the earthly kingdom of Babylon. We are here looking at what has been called
the fall of Satan. Lucifer, the brightest and most beautiful of the angels of God, the nearest to his throne, became so entranced with his own beauty that he rebelled against the government of God and thus became the adversary, Satan. Here he is seen as brought, at last, to the bottomless pit.
We are clearly looking beyond the events of earth to that spiritual world which governs those events. Paul told us that we do not wrestle with flesh and blood, but with wicked spirits in high places. (Ephesians 6:12) The great king of evil is behind all human wrong. This is why the nations rage, why we cannot achieve peace among men at the level of human counsel. We must reckon with these supernatural beings who are behind the mistaken deeds of men.
In this passage we learn the origin and the nature of sin. The root of sin is self-occupation. This is behind the narcissism of the day in which we live. The media constantly pushes people to look out for themselves, to speak of
My rights, my desires, my plans. What's in it for me. This is the philosophy that, like a ferment, keeps troubling the pot of international relationships, boiling over again and again in wars and conflicts.
The nature of sin is to play God in our own little world. It does not matter whether you are a believer or an unbeliever, what constitutes sin is to feel you are in control of your own destiny, that you have all it takes to handle life. 1 John 3:8 says that sin is of the devil, for the devil sinned from the beginning. Playing God is the nature of sin. It is an extremely pleasurable experience. We love it.
A Christian businessman wrote of his own experience:
It's my pride that makes me independent of God. It's appealing to feel I am the master of my fate. I run my own life, I call my own shots, I go it alone. But that feeling is my basic dishonesty. I can't go it alone. I have to get help from other people. I can't ultimately rely on myself. I'm dependent on God for my very next breath. It's dishonest of me to pretend that I'm anything but a man; small, weak and limited. Living independent of God is self-delusion. It's not just a matter of pride being an unfortunate little trait and humility being an attractive little virtue. It's my inner psychological integrity that's at stake. When I am conceited I'm lying to myself about what I am. I am pretending to be God and not man. My pride is the idolatrous worship of myself; and that is the national religion of hell.
Forgive me, Father, for those areas in my life where pride still rules.
Life Application: When we are knowingly complicit with Satan's philosophy, 'What's in it for me', are we considering the personal and relational consequences? What is the ferment in the pot of international relationship?
From your friends at www.RayStedman.org
Daily Devotion © 2014 by Ray Stedman Ministries. For permission to use this content, please review www.RayStedman.org/permissions. Subject to permission policy, all rights reserved.