But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.
Your iniquities have separated between you and your God. Here is the secret. We can resist God's arm. Until the "iniquities" be confessed, deplored, and forsaken, there can be no salvation. God is ready to forgive; but are we ready to be forgiven? God has provided a Saviour; but it may be true of us, "Ye will not come to me, that ye might have life." Man is not a heart only; he is a will. And here lies our condemnation, not that we are not sometimes ashamed and even sorry, but that we will not repent, return, and believe.
I. THE TERM GIVEN TO SIN. "Iniquities;" that is, "inequities." Read the fourth verse, "None calleth for justice;" and the sixth verse, "The act of violence is in their hands." Unless we are willing to forgive and love and do justice to our brother, it is idle to talk about turning to God. Such religion is a sentiment, not a salvation. Then there are "inequities" in relation to God. We have been:
1. Unjust to his government.
2. We have robbed him of ourselves.
3. We have aided the forces of rebellion.
4. We have, in one word, done iniquity.
II. THE DISTANCE CREATED BY SIN. The separation is moral. He is near to us - close, indeed, to us as the air we breathe. But we are at opposite poles of the moral universe.
1. Separated in nature. We are not renewed in his image.
2. Separated in purpose. Our will is set against his will. All separations are painful. We see them in the family and in the nation. Wars and feuds abound on every side. So' we are alienated from the life of God. Christ, and he alone, can break down the middle wall of partition, and through faith in him we may be reconciled by one Spirit unto the Father. - W.M.S.
Parallel VersesKJV: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.