Sin Causes Separation EGP Blog post from January 10, 2013

Isaiah 59:1–2 (NASB)

[1] Behold, the Lord’s hand is not so short That it cannot save; Nor is His ear so dull That it cannot hear. [2] But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, And your sins have hidden His face° from you so that He does not hear.

Isaiah 59:2 So versions; M.T. faces

Iniquity (avon [H5771], pronounced aw-vone’) is a tendency to sin, usually a habitual sin. The root of this word (avah [H2398], pronounced aw-vah’) means “crooked”, so it’s usually defined as “bent toward sin” where the idea is that your alignment’s off as you travel down the straight and narrow path (Luke 13:23–24). This is why most people believe that they are “good people” and, as believers, we need to constantly and consciously check our spiritual bearings.

The word translated “sin” here (chattaah [H2403], pronounced khat-taw-aw’) means “offense” and it’s root (chata [H2398], pronounced khaw-taw’) is the word that’s usually translated “sin”, but literally means “miss” as in “miss the mark.” This concept is where we get Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (NASB)

People continue to reject God and kick Him out of everything, then cry out in anger against Him for not being there when tragedy strikes…feeling as if their cries fall on deaf ears. In the end, if they continue to reject God and kick him out of their lives, they will get their wish getting away from God. “These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and away from the glory of His power.” (2 Thessalonians 1:9) But praise God that no one is beyond saving and that He still extends open arms! (Matthew 19:24–25, Romans 5:8)

Even as believers, we daily choose our own sinful desires over God, causing a division between us and Him. Granted, God says, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,” but the word translated “desert” here (ανιημι [G447] aniemi, pronounced an-ee’ay-mee) also means to “let up, slacken, send back, give up” and the word “forsake” (εγκαταλειπο [G1459] egkataleipo, pronounced eng-kat-al-i’-po) also means “abandon, desert, leave behind.”

So, while “nothing can separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38–39), our sins can create a rift in our fellowship with God (not unlike in a marriage). But “if we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness,” thus restoring that fellowship with our Holy and Righteous God. This isn’t to say that a believer who dies with unconfessed sin will live eternally separated from God like the unbelievers, but as long as they live here with it, they won’t experience the full blessing of His close fellowship. (1 John 1:5–10, Philippians 2:1–2)