Sins and Iniquities and Transgressions
I am listening to Avraham Gildeadi tonight while reading Isaiah. He mentioned that there is a difference between sin and iniquity. Sin is when we do something wrong - when we transgress God's law. We are responsible for our own sins. Iniquity, on the other hand is the effects of sin on later generations. (see Exodus 20:5; 34:7; Numbers 14:18; Deut. 5:9;). Both sin and iniquity can be overcome, but iniquity is much more difficult to overcome than sin. We are forgiven our sins when we are justified. We then overcome iniquity by becoming sanctified.
Regarding transgressions, Ludlow states, “A transgression was when a person unknowingly broke a law; a sin was willful disobedience” (494).
Although the people may be praying and worshipping God, he will not hear their prayers because of their sins and iniquities. We read in Isaiah 59:3-4 that the peoples' hands, fingers, lips and tongue are all unclean. No one calls for truth or justice and they all are hypocrites.
The works of the people described in Isaiah 59:5-8 are a perfect description of our society today.
"their works are works of iniquity, and the act of violence is in their hands.
"Their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed innocent blood: their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; wasting and destruction are in their paths."
That last line really stands out when I read it - "wasting and destruction are in their paths." It seems that every day or week, news lines are announcing another scandal or murder or huge corruption charges. Week after week these scandals and corruptions leave a vast trail of waste and destruction and there is no time to clean up before the next one hits.
We Know Our Sins
Isaiah 59:9-15 describes a sad scene of sorrow and admittance of guilt. Verses 9 to 11 remind me of closing days of the Nephite nation. In Mormon 2:3, Mormon records, “But behold this my joy was vain, for their sorrowing was not unto repentance, because of the goodness of God; but it was rather the sorrowing of the damned, because the Lord would not always suffer them to take happiness in sin.”
Ultimately our transgressions and sins will testify against us and “we know them.”
Isaiah 59:16-21 refers to Jesus Christ. He will be our intercessor (Isaiah 59:16). He will bring salvation to those who repent (Isaiah 59:20). He will deliver justice to both good and evil according to their deeds (Isaiah 59:18).
New and Old Jerusalem
Isaiah 60 describes the New and Old Jerusalem in the Last Days.
Many people and Gentiles will come to Zion (verse 3, 8-9, 14).
The city gates will constantly be open as Zion will have no fear of attack (verse 11). All her enemies will be smitten (verse 12).
The city will be very rich (verse 17).
There will be no violence in her (verse 18).
The Lord himself will dwell in the midst of the city and He will be a light unto all her inhabitants (verse 19-20).
The people of the city will be righteous (verse 21).
The people will live and prosper for many generations (verse 22).