Here we are, beings that have higher capacity than the animals of the earth, yet the ox knows his master, the donkey knows his home, the ant knows the seasons, and mankind knows less then these simple creatures. They store up food for winter. They live their lives in contentment (under normal circumstances if they are not abused of course), and mankind (???), what do we do with our lives? We store up iniquity. So what is that?
Iniquity, ‘avon’, sin, the guilt of sin, wickedness, mischief. It is the production of the sin nature.
Now most people, when they think of iniquity, they think that, that is something bad that is happening elsewhere in the world, in the inner city, across the ocean. For some reason we do not connect it with ourselves, but we can be just as iniquitous as the next person.
We will see the hypocrisy of their worship when we get to verse 11, as God rejected their sacrifices. So it is with normal people, self righteous people, good people in this world.
Iniquity is a burden a lead weight, Zech. 5:7-8. As we get caught up in our sin nature based way of life, God will eventually allow the lead weight of our sin nature production, to cover us over and thus weigh us down. We in effect drown in our own smut.
What is the production of the sin nature? Well, sin is the obvious product of sin. We look to thieves, gang members, bar room carousers, alcoholics, wife beaters, liars, cheaters, sex fanatics, and so forth, but there is a definite set of categories of production from the sin nature that encompasses nearly every aspect of everyones lives when we allow it to.
The sin nature has two areas of power – an area of weakness and an area of strength. Both are evil. The production of both is wickedness.
The area of strength is human good. That is, we can do lots of good deeds in this world, but not from the strength of Gods Word in us, but from the energy of our own strength (excluding God). In its simplest definition, anything that you do that is considered good, and when you do it while out of fellowship with God, then it is done from the energy of your sin nature and therefore wickedness. This is often times called energy of the flesh.
Remember that you are controlled by either God in your life (by being in fellowship and utilizing the Bible doctrine that resides in your soul), or you are controlled by your sin nature. Never both at the same time. It is either one or the other. They are mutually exclusive.
The washing process repeated throughout the Bible is the cleansing process of the confession of sin to God, which cleans up your life and places you in fellowship (see more details in the Fellowship study in the Special Studies Library online). Sin then is a weighing down of a person with filth, dirt, vomit, filthy rags (as we will see later on in Isaiah) or menstrual rags as they really are described.
Ever been in a shop or looked behind your clothes dryer. The oils, dust, lint, dirt really tend to build up and they get things just ugly when they are not cleaned regularly. Well in your spiritual life, the spiritual growth process (see chapter 11), cleanses these burdens, lifts the weights from your life, while the production of the sin nature loads you down with burdens greater than you can bear.
The area of weakness in the sin nature is sin, and it has two extremes. On the one hand there is lasciviousness and on the other hand is asceticism with everything in between of course. So the crusaders of the world, those who would save us from ourselves, as well as the party animals who could care less about the world, are all wrapped up in the concept of people loaded down with iniquity.
Israel was loaded down with righteous temple worshipers, as well as with crooks, corrupt politicians, and everything else imaginable. They had abandoned God. There was little Bible study, little interest in a true spiritual life of any kind.
In life you either love God or you do not. If you choose to ignore God then you are considered to be a despiser of God because you choose your sin nature to lead your life rather than God. People often play games and pretend to make room in their lives for God. This is of course for the viewing benefit of other peoples or even family members, but in the soul the negative person is really in revolt against God, preferring to fill his own desires from the resources of his sin nature.
When we turn away from God, when we make excuses in our life as to why we cannot get to a regular Bible study, when we turn our backs on the spiritual responsibilities placed on us by God, then we have become His enemy and opened our lives up to the lead weight of iniquity, that will in the long run destroy our lives.