Ask Donnell - What Is Iniquity?

Ask Donnell - What Is Iniquity?

We received the following question from Vanessa;

"Hi Donnell, what is iniquity? In exodus 20:5 God spoke about visiting iniquity of fathers upon third and fourth generations then He said in Num 23:21 that He did not see any in Jacob. He wiped his slate clean! Then He spoke about it in Job 4 those who plow iniquity shall reap it. Is it a curse? Is it habitually sinning without repentance? Is it sin that we try to cover up? Is it like the David and Bathsheba scandal which Nathan exposed? I'm looking forward to your response."

This is a deep question, Vanessa. I can only remember hearing one message ever preached on the topic. It came from my father close to two decades ago. Since then, whenever I hear the term, iniquity, it's generally assumed that we all know what it means. However, no assumption is safe when you're dealing with people. Therefore, it's good to settle any potential misunderstanding with a responsible analysis of the scriptures.

Exodus 20:5(KJV) - Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;

In this scripture, the Hebrew word translated into "iniquity" is "`avon" which means "perversity, depravity, iniquity, guilt or punishment of iniquity". It comes from the root word, "`avah" which means "to bend, twist, distort" and "to commit iniquity, do wrong, pervert".

Numbers 23:21(KJV) - He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel: the Lord his God is with him, and the shout of a king is among them.

Job 4:8(KJV) - Even as I have seen, they that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same.

In these scriptures, the Hebrew word translated into "iniquity" is " 'aven" which means "trouble, wickedness and sorrow".

Based on the definitions, it's clear to see that iniquity is more than just a reference to the action of sin but refers to a perverse mindset or a depraved mind. In other words, repeated sinful actions do not constitute iniquity but are the result of it. The actions of iniquity are merely the symptoms of thoughts rooted in wickedness. It is a mental stronghold that is not easily removed. When someone is caught up in iniquity, sin is established in that person's heart and has become a lifestyle. The word, "iniquity" also means the punishment that comes as a result of it. That's how iniquity can be inherited.

Also, the root word for iniquity, "`avah" gives a startling revelation. The root of iniquity is perversion. It's the act of bending, twisting and distorting the truth. That's what the devil did in The Garden of Eden when He fooled Eve into believing a lie in Genesis 3. He knew what God said and proceeded to bend, twist, distort and pervert it. Iniquity can only be established in the heart of someone if their understanding of truth is perverted. Why? Jesus said in John 8:32 that when you know the truth, it will make you free. However, if you bend, twist or distort the truth the "truth" you know is no longer the truth. It has become a lie which no longer has the power to bring freedom but has the opposite effect.

So what is iniquity? Is it a curse? Yes! The punishment for iniquity is also called iniquity. Is it habitually sinning without repentance? Kind of! Habitual sin is the result of it! Is it sin that we try to cover up? Kind of! It will definitely result in you wanting to cover up your sin. Is it like the David and Bathsheba scandal which Nathan exposed? A little! Initially, David tried to hide his sin but he repented the moment it was exposed.

Psalm 66:18(KJV) - If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:

Harboring iniquity shuts the door of your heart to the voice of God and the ears of God to your voice. That's serious. If there's iniquity in your heart it's a result of a lie that you have accepted. Even if you have access to the truth that doesn't mean anything. Twisting, bending or perverting the truth opens the door wide for iniquity.

How Do You Break The Hold Of Iniquity?

Accept the truth!

John 8:32(KJV) - And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

The truth can only make you free if you choose to accept it. When the prophet Nathan exposed King David's sin in 2 Samuel 12 he accepted the truth and repented. Instantly, the iniquity that was in his heart was broken. He still faced some punishment and it did visit his children. However, it eventually came to an end because Jesus is known as the Son of David. On the other hand, when the prophet Samuel exposed King Saul's sin in 1 Samuel 15, Saul would not accept the truth but continued to deny that he sinned. God took away Saul's throne from his family forever. Therefore, when you're caught up in iniquity and someone calls you out with the truth it's better to repent quickly. There's no way to win without repentance.

2 Corinthians 10:4-6(KJV) - (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.

Strongholds, imaginations, high things that exalt themselves against the knowledge of God and disobedient thoughts all refer to iniquity. The only weapon that destroys iniquity is The Word of God which is the best source of truth. Concerning this, Jesus said in John 17:17(KJV); "Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth."

Psalm 119:11(KJV) - Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.

Fill your heart with God's Word on a daily basis. Iniquity cannot stay when the truth of The Word of God is present in your heart.

Hebrews 4:12-13(KJV) - For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.

Nothing is hidden before God. Nothing can stand in the face of God's Word. Iniquity is nothing that The Word of God can't fix.

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