Are there things in your life that bring shame and guilt? Mine too. There have been a lot of hard things that happened in my past, but there have also been many hard things I’ve caused. Guilt and shame live just a bad day away in my mind, but God says, “Be still and do not fear”. Today you will see that God covers our shame in the Bible and gives us new life in Him.
“Fear not, for you will not be put to shame; And do not feel humiliated, for you will not be disgraced; But you will forget the shame of your youth, And the reproach of your widowhood you will remember no more.” Isaiah 54:4 NASB
Stores of Shame in the Bible
The context of Isaiah 54:4 finds Isaiah prophesying the end of Israel’s Babylonian captivity. That word from the Lord should have brought joy and rejoicing, but Israel had caused the captivity by their sin. Shame and guilt weighed heavily on them as they heard the words of Isaiah.
The ongoing story of Israel’s relationship with God is filled with shame in the Bible. What I love most about this portion of their story is that God speaks hope and new life into the shame they feel.
Examples of Shame in the Bible
Talk about great examples of shame in the Bible. In just this one passage we see guilt and shame at its finest. Some things to know before we begin about the context of this passage:
- As a consequence of Israel’s unrepentant idolatry, God is acting with justice.
- God literally spread Israel out far and wide in the lands.
- The Lord is gracious and merciful and redeems Israel from captivity after 70 years.
- As Israel imagines returning home they knew what faced them.
- Rebuilding a ruined nation.
- Facing ridicule from nations who saw their disgraceful captivity.
- Persecution and physical attack by nations sure God was nothing.
God sees their fear (real fear) and reminds them who He is and what He does. I love that God repeats Himself, “Fear not, for you will not be put to shame,” several times in this one chapter!
What a God we serve!
What is Shame in The Bible?
From this passage, we observe that Israel had real shame. They had messed up so bad they were sure God would give up on them. Can you relate?
But God is not a God who puts us to shame. Shame comes from the enemy.
Let’s look at the definition of shame in the Bible before we go further.
- A painful feeling of humiliation caused by wrong behavior.
- We feel shame when we mess up.
When we see shame in the Bible the meaning is about feeling ashamed. We mess up, we feel ashamed of ourselves. But hear this, shame is not from God.
Look up shame in the Bible verses of the Old or New Testament and you will see that God does not bring shame. In fact, what you will see is that guilt and shame in the Bible are two different sides of the issue. Shame comes from the enemy while guilt is a tool in the hands of the Holy Spirit.
Why? Shame or feeling ashamed does not lead to change which is the goal of the Lord in our lives..
What Is Guilt in the Bible?
- Guilt is knowing the facts of our crime, followed by a feeling that induces us to do something to make it right.
If shame is the feeling of humiliation from a mistake, guilt is the knowledge of the facts. Facts versus feelings are how we sort out the two similar things.
Here are some Bible verses about shame and guilt to help you better understand.
Deliverance from Shame in the Bible
We must accept deliverance from shame as Christians.
Shame is not from God! So no more shame! God says, “I will cover your shame”. How does God cover your shame?
Jesus bore our shame that we might share His glory at the cross of Calvary! If you are walking with Him, that shame is an attempt from the enemy to keep you stuck!
Just look up shame and reproach in the bible and you will see over and over again that we have been set free from shame. Even when we see shame in the Old Testament we see God’s deliverance from it!
The difference between guilt and shame is that shame leaves us hopeless and stuck while guilt leads to freedom.
What Bible Verse Says Do Not Let Me Be Put to Shame?
This is a line from Psalm 25 from David who often battled feelings of shame. We see a clear picture of his example of surrendering those feelings to God, dealing with any guilt of sin, and leaning into God for change.
David didn’t hide from his sin, he faced it headfirst. What I find comfort in that is that the enemy still plagued him with feelings of shame. But again, he took those to God to sort out the facts from the feelings and find hope in the Lord! Let us all be more like David in this area!!!!
Who in the Bible Tried to Hide From God?
While we are here, let’s remember what happens when we do give in to shame and hide from God.
Who in the Bible tried to hide from God?
Adam and Eve after the first sin.
How did that go for them?
Would things have turned out differently if they had run to God after the sin and guilt came?
I can only speculate based on what I know about God right now. They would still have lost paradise, but maybe there wouldn’t have been the curse…
Let’s not run and hide from God out of shame. Instead, let guilt lead us right to his feet.
How To Deal With Guilt In The Bible
We want to apply Isaiah 54:4 to our right now life. To do that we must acknowledge that God does allow us to see our guilt for sin.
In seeing our guilt we see how to deal with guilt.
- We see our sin
- Confess that sin
- Walk away from sin
- Turn toward God
- Grow Spiritually to avoid that sin in the future
Guilt leads to repentance! So to get over guilt we just deal with the sin that caused the guilt.
Israel had to deal with guilt and learn from its mistakes. Praise God He can fix any mess in life! As Israel came back to the Promised land they needed a reminder to not be afraid because they were living face to face with their mistakes. Regret, doubt, and shame came so quickly. Can you relate?
Regret Comes With Shame
When we mess up and sin, even after dealing with it, regret and shame come. We have to learn how to deal with regret and shame in a healthy way.
Isaiah gave Israel two ways to deal with regret and shame.
- Fix their eyes on God
- Remember He redeemed them
- He called them by name
- He became their husband
- The Lord showered them with loving-kindness
Yes, you messed up. No, God doesn’t disqualify you from service because of a mistake.
What is Abomination From the Bible?
Are there things in your life that bring shame and guilt? Do you ever wonder if you’ve out-sinned God’s grace and mercy?
There was a season of life where I refused to forgive myself or accept God’s forgiveness because I turned back to the same exact sin over and over again! Surely I had become an abomination to God.
Or was living in habitual sin like open shame in the Bible? Maybe my struggle to set aside lust was like driving the nails into Jesus’ body over and over again.
No. Jesus died once and took on Himself ALL the sins of the world – once. His sacrifice sealed all believers for all time.
He Took Our Shame!
Nothing can take us from God. Yes, sin is bad, but God forgives sin and gives us another chance. We can overcome the anxiety and fear with that truth! Amen?!?!?!?
He took the consequences for your sin. All you need to do is confess that sin and walk in the fact of forgiveness!
Blessings Follow Forgiveness
When God fixes your mess He also lavishes you with blessings. In Isaiah 54 we see God shift from reminding Israel of the past guilt to promising lavish blessings.
Isaiah 54:11-17 are rich with extravagant grace and blessings!
- God will set their stones in antimony (rare precious stones)
- Lay their foundations in sapphire
- The battlements will be of rubies
- The gates of crystals
- God will teach their children.
- He will fight for them as they are attacked in the future!
And I love this promise in verse 17, “No weapon that is formed against you will prosper”. This passage is so much more than a, “He took our shame verse,” it is a, “He gave us everything we could ever need verse!”
Has there been guilt and shame in your life?
Give your shame to God today. Be still in the knowledge that God does not put you to shame. Let go of those feelings, and instead deal with the sin the guilt is point toward that needs to be handled.
Then step into the freedom of a God who forgives. God forgives you!
Not only does God forgive you, but He wants to lavish you with blessings. Spiritual blessings, physical blessings.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,” Ephesians 1:3 NASB
Guilt leads us to repent of our sins. Repentance leads to forgiveness. Forgiveness breaks the chains of shame and allows new life to fill us with hope and joy!
This makes me think of a new-ish song, Graves into Gardens. Here is the lyric that fits our study today.
You turn mourning to dancing
and You give beauty for ashes
You turn shame into glory
You’re the only one who can
You turn graves into gardens
and You turn bones into armies
You turn seas into highways
You’re the only one who can
When did God turn graves into gardens? This article lays out the Scripture behind the song in a beautiful way – Graves into Gardens New Song Study. Jesus’ body was buried in the grave for 3 days. His new life (the garden) is why we now have new life!
Let’s praise Him for that New Life right now!!!!!!!!
Prayer: God Covers Shame And Brings New Life
God of peace, please help me overcoming shame today. You know the areas I’ve been stuck in shame. I surrender them to You today and ask you to replace them with Your peace that passes understanding.
Thank you for the guilt that convicts me of sin. Forgive me for being so cold and hard that I’ve missed the prompting of the Holy Spirit to deal with that sin. Create in me a soft heart always open to hearing Your voice. I confess my sin of pride and the idolatry of entertainment in my life. Forgive me and change my habits and character to more reflect of You.
Praise to You for the blessings. I can’t always see them. Open my eyes to Your hand at work to bless this life.
Will You Accept That God Covers Shame in the Bible With New Life?
Shame in the Bible is a frequent tactic of the enemy to interfere with what God wants to do in your life. Shame makes us want to hide from God rather than lean into Him and grow.
Will you accept that God covers your shame with new life? God has new life and blessing in store for you! Just don’t hide from Him. Don’t give in to the feelings, but rather know the facts and walk in them!
Deal with the facts of the guilt this way:
- See the sin
- Confess the sin
- Walk away from the sin
- Turn toward God
- Grow Spiritually to avoid that sin in the future
And if the enemy tries to remind you of the sin you’ve already taken to God, do not accept the shame. Walk in the facts. You are forgiven!
- Fix your eyes on God
- Remember He redeemed you
- He called you by name
- He became your husband
- Showered you with loving-kindness
- And gave you new life!
If you enjoyed this, you will love these articles:
- 7 Ways to Bein Walking in the Grace of God
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- Fighting Anger in Marriage: Love is Not Easily Provoked