Therefore, this is what the Holy One of Israel says: “Because you have rejected this message, relied on oppression and depended on deceit, this sin will become for you like a high wall, cracked and bulging, that collapses suddenly, in an instant. It will break in pieces like pottery, shattered so mercilessly that among its pieces not a fragment will be found for taking coals from a hearth or scooping water out of a cistern.” Isaiah 40:12-14 (NIV)
My tooth started hurting last night so today I had to go to the dentist. Because I would rather go anywhere but the dentist, my tooth must really bother me to pick up the phone and make an appointment. I actually thought I broke it while eating dinner last night. I felt like it just gave way, but I could not find any rugged places. That tooth has been throbbing off and one for several months. I went to the dentist already once about it, and he could find nothing wrong even after taking x-rays. I blamed the fact that I clinch my jaw when stressed which could have caused a bruised nerve. I even made excuses that it might be problems with my sinuses as we are in pollen season. But, today, I could put it off no longer as the pain drove me back to see the dentist. The assistant couldn’t see anything wrong with my tooth, and at first, neither could the dentist. More x-rays confirmed nothing amiss as well. But, after listening to my complaints, he said it sounded like a crack in my tooth. He was right. Underneath where a filling blocked his view and that of the x-ray, lay a crack in my tooth. It was a small one, just starting, but left untreated, eventually the nerve would have decayed and perhaps, brought death to the tooth. He patched me up, replaced the filling and sent me on my way. The experience reminded me of these verses. Here, Isaiah tells the people of Israel that their sin of ignoring God, choosing to go their own way and depending on their own strength will lead them to destruction. He likens it to a small crack in the wall around a city that left undetected and unrepaired will collapse. While the crack begins small, the wall’s collapse will seem to happen suddenly because the people are not paying attention to it as it grows. Just like the people of Isaiah’s day, we can ignore our sins as well. We go off, living our lives, thinking everything is fine and dandy. We are doing well; life is good. We forget God and how He is the Holy One. While He loves us and cares for us, we must still realize that He is GOD and give Him the respect and obedience that He deserves. A little sin begins, leads to more and before we know it, we are in way over our head with pieces of wall collapsing all around us. I made a lot of excuses why I shouldn’t go to the dentist, but I went. I let him clean out my tooth and repair the crack and prevented further destruction of my tooth. Today, invite God to show you where sin has taken root in your life. Ask Him forgive you and make you whole again. Don’t wait until the cracks are so large you can see them. Catch them when they are still small.