As I was reading Psalm 107, a couple of verses jumped off the page. As I sat and read over the verses several times, my heart began to break for all the people in the world who are sitting in darkness because they have rejected the light of Christ. Here are the verses:
“Those who sat in darkness and in the shadow of death, Bound in affliction and irons— Because they rebelled against the words of God, And despised the counsel of the Most High” (NKJV)
As I thought over these verses, I couldn’t help but think about so many people I know and love that are sitting in darkness right now. It breaks my heart to think about people being covered by the shadow of death, and being bound in the affliction of sin. This is all the more hard to swallow because each person in this world chooses whether to come to the light, or to stay in the darkness. John 3 gives the unfortunate truth about the majority of mankind,
“And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.” (NKJV)
As the Psalm states, people are bound in affliction and sitting in darkness because they have rebelled against the words of God. The verses from John above spell out why people reject God, but these verses from Psalm 107 caused me to think about what people are actually rejecting when it says they rejected the words of God. What are the words of God?
The words of God are actually rather simple, but obviously unappetizing to the vast majority of people today. In fact, most people (even some self-proclaimed Christians) flat-out do not like the Bible, which is the Word of God. But, the basic message from God, from His word, is simply the gospel or the good news. The gospel message can be summed up in this: all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23), the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 6:23), and God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). It is really that simple. All have sinned, God cannot be together with sin, God knew all this and looked upon our sinful state with incomprehensible love, and therefore sent His Son to die for us so that we could have a way to be with God for eternity. The Word of God is one of love and redemption. So why do people reject it?
There are a myriad of things that will keep a person from accepting Jesus and the words of God, but the two that come to my mind are the love of darkness, and human pride. While John again clearly states that people love darkness, and therefore they reject the light, not realizing they are rejecting eternity with God almighty,. People also flat-out reject that they are sinful, or reject they are sinful enough to be sent to hell. This human stubbornness (that I know so well in myself) absolutely kills me. So many people believe that they are good people, and therefore in no need of confession of sin, no need of repentance, and in no need of a Savior. For these reasons and more, people continually reject the words of God, therefore rejecting Jesus Christ, and rejecting God the Father. You cannot reject the Words of God, and then accurately state you belong to that same God, and are going to spend eternity with Him.
So, as I come full circle with this I think of the beautiful words God speaks remembering the birth of his chosen people, the Israelites in Ezekiel 16:
“And when I passed by you and saw you struggling in your own blood, I said to you in your blood, ‘Live!’ Yes, I said to you in your blood, ‘Live!’ (NKJV)
God says the same thing to every person on this earth today. As we struggle in our sin, and the fallen state of this world, God is calling anyone and everyone to come out of the darkness, and behold His glorious light. God is calling to anyone who will come to Him to be set free from the bondage of sin, but we cannot be set free if we continue to reject the Words of God. We have to believe in Jesus Christ, and His work on the cross alone for the payment of our sins, and our way to eternal life. Jesus is the way the truth and the life (John 14:6), and God is waiting patiently for any who would accept His free gift of salvation, not desiring that any person should perish, but that all would come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9).
If you have not received the love of Christ and the words of God, you can do that today. Just cry out to God, and confess your sins, ask Him to forgive you, and believe in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. If you do that with a true heart, you will be born again of the Holy Spirit of God, and welcomed into the family of God as His child forever.
And for the Christians, what can we do? This time with the Lord has again just convicted me to continue to stay steadfast in prayer for those who are still sitting in darkness, and to pray that God would help me shine brightly as His light so that those around would see and come. He has convicted me to pray that people I know and love would be set free from the bondage of sin, be drawn out of the darkness and the shadow of death, and be brought into the presence of God by the blood of Jesus Christ. The time is short, and God hears the prayers of children, so I encourage you all, as I encourage myself, to get alone with God and pray more earnestly. God bless you all.
With love and prayer, Cory.