by Jeffrey W. Hamilton
Text: Daniel 9:4-19
I. In Robinson Crusoe, by Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe left home to be a sailor against the wishes of his parents. He soon came to regret his decision, but he would not return home because he did not want to admit that he made a mistake. He was ashamed to have his family and friends know that he was wrong and that his parents were right.
A. So he observes: “I have since often observed, how incongruous and irrational the common temper of mankind is, especially of youth ... that they are not ashamed to sin, and yet are ashamed to repent; not ashamed of the action for which they ought justly to be esteemed fools, but are ashamed of the returning, which only can make them be esteemed wise men.”
II. Sin is shameful
A. Jeremiah had the unpleasant task of declaring that his country would be destroyed and her people sent off into captivity. He observes - Jeremiah 3:21-25
B. About 70 years later, as the years of captivity drew to a close, Daniel noted that the shame continues - Daniel 9:4-11
C. As Ezra returned the people to their homeland, he too saw the shame - Ezra 9:6-7
D. When people leave God, shame follows them - Jeremiah 17:13
E. It is just the nature of sin - Proverbs 13:5
F. We should not attempt to lessen that shame - II Thessalonians 3:14
III. Yet some refuse to be ashamed of their sins
A. Jeremiah 3:3 - Some refused to be ashamed, even when blatantly sinning
B. Jeremiah 6:15 - They lost the ability to blush at their deeds
C. We see the same today. People who parade their sins before the world and mock those who hold to God’s commandments - Zephaniah 3:5
D. They become enemies of Christ and what he died for - Philippians 3:18-19
IV. But shame doesn’t have to remain
A. Learn and change - Jeremiah 31:18-20
B. When God saves, the shame ends permanently - Isaiah 45:17
C. Shame will be replaced with joy - Isaiah 61:7
V. So why do some, who realize they have sinned, refuse to repent?
A. The simple answer is that their pride is in their way. They don’t want to admit to others that they were wrong.
B. With pride comes shame - Proverbs 11:2
C. When we refuse correction shame remains - Proverbs 13:18
D. God opposes the proud - James 4:4-10
E. If we humble ourselves before God, He will exalt us - I Peter 5:6-7
F. Don’t refuse God’s offer - Hebrews 12:25-29
VI. Do you have sins and need to change?
A. The gospel has the power to change you and save you - Romans 1:16
[Based on an outline written by David E. Pratte]