At the core of sin is selfishness. Sin is rooted in a desire to get what is best for me – my pleasure, my gain, my power. As long as I put myself first, I will continue to slide into a downward spiral of sin.
God says that the recovery and restoration of God’s people begin and end with God’s people proclaiming themselves “The Lord’s.” When we put the Lord first (and in doing so, we put the Lord’s people first), we align ourselves with God and God’s purpose. When we open ourselves to God’s claim on us, forgiveness and restoration are ours.
I, I am He who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins. Accuse me, let us go to trial; set forth your case, so that you may be proved right. Your first ancestor sinned, and your interpreters transgressed against me. Therefore I profaned the princes of the sanctuary, I delivered Jacob to utter destruction, and Israel to reviling.
But now hear, O Jacob my servant, Israel whom I have chosen! Thus says the Lord who made you, who formed you in the womb and will help you: Do not fear, O Jacob my servant, Jeshurun whom I have chosen. For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour my spirit upon your descendants, and my blessing on your offspring. They shall spring up like a green tamarisk, like willows by flowing streams. This one will say, “I am the Lord’s,” another will be called by the name of Jacob, yet another will write on the hand, “The Lord’s,” and adopt the name of Israel.