podcast

#1,278 – Ignoring the Sin in Our Own Hearts (Genesis 38:24–26)

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“About three months later, Judah was told Tamar your daughter-in-law has been immoral. Moreover, she is pregnant by immorality. And Judah said, bring her out and let her be burned. And as she was being brought out, she sent word to her father-in-law by the man to whom these belong, I am pregnant. And she said, please identify whose these are the signet and the cord and the staff. Then Judah identified them and said she is more righteous than I, since I did not give her to my son Shelah and he did not know her again.”
-Genesis 38:24–26

It’s a lot we could talk about here based on the whole story of Genesis chapter 38. The reason I read these verses and want to lead us to pray according to them specifically is because here in this story, Judah is quick to accuse and condemn his daughter-in-law for sin when he is quick to execute and overlook sin in his own life. Do you think you are prone to do the same thing? So just kind of move beyond Genesis 38 for a moment. Like, are you prone to point out, see, even despise sin and others, and yet you’re slow to point out, see, even despise sin in your own heart and life?

It is so easy for us to see sin and evil in others, yet ignore sin and evil in our own hearts,

It’s part of what Jesus is saying in Matthew chapter seven in the sermon on the Mount, right? Don’t look at the speck in your brother’s eye when you have a plank in your own eye. It doesn’t mean we don’t see sin in others’ lives and help them turn from that. In fact, that’s exactly what Jesus says. He says, take the plank out of your own eye then you will see clearly to help remove the speck from your brother’s eyes. So yes, we help remove the speck from our brother’s eyes, Jesus says, but we do that after removing the plank from our own eyes.

And so I want to lead us to pray in a world of sin and evil all around us in light of how easy it is for us to see sin and evil and others, yet ignore sin and evil in our own hearts, in our own thoughts, in our own disobedience, in our own actions, in our own desires, in our own lack of full wholehearted obedience to God. Oh God, we pray that you would give us soft hearts and wide open eyes to see sin and evil in each of our own lives. God, we pray that you would remove blind spots from us. We’re all prone to not see things that we need to see in our lives.

God, I pray that you would remove blind spots for me and pray this over every single person who’s listening right now, God, that you would help us to see sin that we don’t want to see. God, help us to see in ourselves that which we are so prone to easily see in others. And God, we pray that you’d help us to remove planks from our eyes, by your grace and by your mercy. Jesus, we praise you for dying on the cross for our sins. We praise you for the privilege and opportunity of repentance, so help us to faithfully repent, to faithfully turn from sin, confess sin on a daily basis in our lives.

Not to grow casual content with comfortable with sin. And yes, God, in the process, you would help us to be more able to remove spectrum brothers, sisters eyes. You would help us to encourage others and holiness because of the holy sanctifying work you are doing in each of our hearts. And in the process, oh God, especially as part of your church that you would help us together to become more and more and more holy as we honestly and humbly see sin in our own lives and then we gently and lovingly help each other turn from sin in each other’s lives.

And God, in all of this that you would help us to point people around us who don’t know you and your grace and your love and your mercy to the forgiveness that is found in you and the new life that is found in you. God, we pray that you would use this to share the gospel today with people right around us. And God, we pray for the spread of your gospel to people far from us, God, for the Lunia people in India, three million of them, no followers of Jesus, none of them know your forgiveness and your mercy. All of them right now under your judgment for sin.

God, we pray for the spread of your grace to the Lunia people of India. God, may they know your grace and your mercy that covers over sin. Oh God, please help us every day all throughout the day to be sensitive to your Holy Spirit as you convict us of sin. As you open our eyes to sin in our lives, help us to repent of it, to turn from it. In the process, help us to love one another with your mercy and your grace that helps each other turn from sin as we live to spread the good news of your grace that covers over sin in the world around us. In Jesus’ name, we pray, amen.

David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and chairman of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, Counter Culture, and Something Needs to Change.
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