There is something so satisfying about taking out the trash. When you haul a lot of garbage out of the house don’t you almost feel like you have downsized? The Old Testament gives us a good picture of how God wants us to take the trash out of our lives. He says it’s a two-part process, a two-goat process.
Phase 1: take the trash out of the house. A goat was used for this as a sin offering.
Phase 2: send the trash to the dump. A second goat was used to send the sin away. A priest confessed the sins of the people over the second animal (a scape goat), and then that goat was sent off into the desert.
It has never been enough just to confess sin, never been enough just to be forgiven. It’s not enough just to get the trash out of the house, it also has to be hauled away. The Old Testament prophet, Micah, says that God hurls our iniquities into the sea (Mic. 7:19). If we cling to those sins when God hurls them we’ll go down with them. Holding on to forgiven sin is like wearing a lead lifejacket. But you say, “Well, I just can’t let go.” “I don’t have control of this part of my life.” “I have a high sex drive.” “I’m chemically dependent.” “I know it’s wrong, and I confessed it, and I believe God forgave it, but it still feels right.” “I am just greedy by nature.” “I’ve always been like this, I think it started when I was a kid.” Well, God does his part to wave goodbye to our sins. He wants us to do our part, too. We need to wave them goodbye. Taking the garbage out of the house is good. Hauling away that garbage from our lives is also good. Keeping that trash nearby to recycle is not recommended.