Sin Separates Us from God
(Psalm 14:1–7; Psalm 53:1–6; Romans 3:9–20)
1 Surely the arm of the LORD is not too short to save,
nor His ear too dull to hear.
2 But your iniquities have built barriers
between you and your God,
and your sins have hidden His face from you,
so that He does not hear.
3 For your hands are stained with blood,
and your fingers with iniquity;
your lips have spoken lies,
and your tongue mutters injustice.
4 No one calls for justice;
no one pleads his case honestly.
They rely on empty pleas; they tell lies;
they conceive mischief and give birth to iniquity.
5 They hatch the eggs of vipers
and weave a spider’s web.
Whoever eats their eggs will die;
crack one open, and a viper is hatched.
6 Their cobwebs cannot be made into clothing,
and they cannot cover themselves with their works.
Their deeds are sinful deeds,
7 Their feet run to evil;
they are swift to shed innocent blood.
Their thoughts are sinful thoughts;
ruin and destruction a lie in their wake.
and there is no justice in their tracks.
They have turned them into crooked paths;
no one who treads on them will know peace.
9 Therefore justice is far from us,
and righteousness does not reach us.
We hope for light, but there is darkness;
for brightness, but we walk in gloom.
10 Like the blind, we feel our way along the wall,
groping like those without eyes.
We stumble at midday as in the twilight;
among the vigorous we are like the dead.
11 We all growl like bears
and moan like doves.
We hope for justice, but find none,
for salvation, but it is far from us.
12 For our transgressions are multiplied before You,
and our sins testify against us.
Our transgressions are indeed with us,
and we know our iniquities:
13 rebelling and denying the LORD,
turning away from our God,
speaking oppression and revolt,
conceiving and uttering lies from the heart.
14 So justice is turned away,
and righteousness stands at a distance.
For truth has stumbled in the public square,
and honesty cannot enter.
15 Truth is missing,
and whoever turns from evil becomes prey.
The LORD looked and was displeased c
that there was no justice.
16 He saw that there was no man;
He was amazed that there was no one to intercede.
So His own arm brought salvation,
and His own righteousness sustained Him.
17 He put on righteousness like a breastplate,
and the helmet of salvation on His head;
He put on garments of vengeance
and wrapped Himself in a cloak of zeal.
The Covenant of the Redeemer
18 So He will repay according to their deeds:
fury to His enemies,
retribution to His foes,
and recompense to the islands. d
19 So shall they fear the name of the LORD
where the sun sets,
and His glory where it rises.
For He will come like a raging flood,
driven by the breath of the LORD. e
20 “The Redeemer will come to Zion,
to those in Jacob who turn from transgression, f”
declares the LORD.
21 “As for Me, this is My covenant with them,” g says the LORD. “My Spirit will not depart from you, h and My words that I have put in your mouth will not depart from your mouth or from the mouths of your children and grandchildren, from now on and forevermore,” says the LORD.
7 a LXX misery
8 b Cited in Romans 3:15–17
15 c Hebrew and it was evil in His eyes
18 d Or coastlands
19 e Or When the enemy comes like a raging flood, the Spirit of the LORD will drive him back
20 f LXX to remove godlessness from Jacob ; cited in Romans 11:26
21 g Cited in Romans 11:27
21 h Literally My Spirit, who is upon you,