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Rays of Light Bible Lessons by Keith Holder

NEITHER COULD THEY BLUSH

Jeremiah 8:12 Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? Nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush:...

When a person blushes their face, and sometimes their neck area, becomes red. This redness is due to the dilatation, or widening of the blood vessels, allowing more blood to flow into these areas of the body. It can be caused by heat or physical exercise. It can also be caused by one's emotions such as love, hate, fear or anger. In this instance, as written by Jeremiah, the emotion was shame or embarrassment.

In this particular case, the Israelites were not ashamed of their sins. Without shame for their sins, they could not blush. Ezra confessed to God on behalf of the Israelites, I am ashamed and blush to lift up my face to Thee, my God: for our iniquities are increased over our head, and our trespass is grown up into the heavens (Ezra 9:6). Ezra was ashamed of the sins committed by Israel to the extent that he blushed.

But in the first instance, the Israelites could not blush. Why couldn't they blush? It was because they were not ashamed of their sin. They were not ashamed of their sin simply because they were not aware that their actions were sinful.

There are two reasons that people are not aware of their sins. First, without law, there is no sin. Second, where laws do exist, some people have a seared conscience - a conscience that isso accustomed to willful transgressions that it had become numb to the guilt of sin (See 1 Tim. 4:2).

Consider the sin of lying. There are many references to this sin throughout the bible. Ephesians 4:25 tells us to put away lying, and speak truth. How does one's conscience become seared? How does one become mentally numb to the shameful sin of lying? With the knowledge that lying is a sin, a person is convicted by their conscience when at first they are guilty of lying - they are ashamed - they blush! However, if lying continues and becomes habitual, the conscience becomes numb, and shame wanes. It becomes acceptable to them as a way of life. Without being shamefully convicted of this sin, there is no blushing.

What about other sins. What about stealing, covetousness, fornication, murder, envy, being a false witness, hate, speaking evil of others, etc. Can one become immune to the conviction of the conscience when these sins are repeatedly committed? Certainly! There are numerous examples where people commit such sins - where sinning has become their way of life. When this happens, sin is committed but there is no feeling of guilt, therefore there is no blushing.

These are sins that people commit. The same would be true for sins of omission. James assured us of this when he wrote,Therefore to him that knows to do good and does it not, to him it is sin (James 4:17). Do we love our neighbor as we are commanded? Are we concerned as we should be for the physical and spiritual needs of our family members, friends, and neighbors? All too often, we see someone in need and fail to fill that need. The question is this: Do we blush at our lack of concern for the needs of others?

Is it just me, or are we a people that fail miserably to be concerned about sin as we shouldbe? Do we feel no shame of the willful sins that we are guilty of in our daily lives as much as we used to be? Like the Israelites in the days of Jeremiah, are we becoming a people that can not blush?

Our God has given us laws to govern our daily conduct during our lives on earth. When we disobey any one of these laws, we need to be ashamed ---WE NEED TO BLUSH!