Behold, I was shaped in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.…
Behold! This is a word of power. It takes hold. It demands attention. It marks the solemnity and seriousness of the things to be brought before us. The veil is so far lifted. In the light of God, we get glimpses into the awful secrets of the heart.
I. THE SECRET OF SIN IS FOUND IN THE CORRUPT HEART. The first thing that startles and staggers us may be some actual transgression; but as we consider the matter, we are forced back and back, and closer and closer, till we end with the corrupt heart. Sin is everywhere; but always, when we seek its origin, we come to the same source. We may not be able to explain fully why and how the heart is corrupt, but of the fact there can be no question. It is better to seek deliverance from the pit, than to weary and vex ourselves in vain with inquiries how we came there.
II. THAT THE EVIL OF SIN IS SEEN IN THE CONTRADICTION OF TRUTH. What God desires must be right and good. But instead of "truth in the inward parts," it is the opposite. Instead of law, there is self-will; instead of order, there is confusion; instead of the unity of the Spirit, there is enmity and strife. The mind and the will are in contradiction to God. It is this that makes the disease so desperate, and the remedy so difficult (Genesis 17:9). We might make clean the outside of the cup, but it remains defiled within. We may whitewash the sepulchre, but after all it is a sepulchre, full of dead men's bones and of all uncleanness. Helpless, and well-nigh despairing, our cry is, "O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me?"
III. THAT DELIVERANCE FROM SIN CAN ONLY BE EFFECTED BY THE RE-ESTABLISHMENT OF GOD'S AUTHORITY IN THE HEART. Healing that does not go to the root of the disease is vain and delusive. The heart must be made right or nothing is right. This is the work of God through Christ Jesus (Romans 6:8-14). It is not slight, or half-and-half work, but thorough. We cannot serve two masters. But by the grace of Christ we are saved from the bondage and misery of our old master, and God is again enthroned in our hearts as our true and rightful Lord, whose service is perfect freedom, and whose rewards are peace and joy for evermore. - W.F.
Parallel VersesKJV: Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.