Hans Christian Anderson’s short story “The Emperor’s New Clothes” is about two weavers who promised an emperor new clothes that would be invisible to anyone unfit for his position. They made no clothes at all, but the king pretended to wear them lest he be thought inept. When he paraded before his subjects, no one dared say they saw no clothes, for fear that they would be thought stupid. Finally, a child cried out, “But he isn’t wearing anything at all!”
That story illustrates the fact that there are obvious things people are unwilling to acknowledge. Some will never admit a mistake. Others will not acknowledge being overweight or having an anger or addiction problem. Others deny a medical condition until it is too late to treat it.
There is another elephant in the room—or naked emperor. Everyone has a condition, but nobody wants to talk about it. That condition is sin. We have all messed up. All is not right between us and our Maker, because we offended Him with bad behavior. Like sheep, we have gone astray (Isaiah 53:6). Sin is a barrier between us and heaven (Isaiah 59:1–2).
We find these attitudes regarding everybody’s problem. Problem? What Problem? Some deny that there is such a thing as sin. Many philosophers, humanists, and psychologists allege that sin is the concoction of myth-making religious fanatics to keep people from having fun, or by preachers to keep themselves in business. Man does not get to define reality; the ultimate source of truth is God: “I, the Lord speak righteousness, I declare things that are right” (Isaiah 45:19; cf. Psalm 19:7–10; John 14:6). God said sin is a reality. Whatever a skunk is called, it smells the same.
Sin is a three-letter Anglo-Saxon word capable of covering the whole gamut of human failure. In the Old Testament, to sin meant “to stumble and fall” or “breaking one’s word, disloyalty, treason—a breach of the covenant with God.” Sin was saying, “I want to do this, although I know God forbids it.” In the New Testament, sin is less legal but no less lethal. It means “to miss the mark; fail to achieve a goal.”
- Bible Trivia
- Bible Trivia