“Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the LORD’S hand double for all her sins” (Isaiah 40:2)
At first glance, it might appear that God is being unjust by dealing out double punishment for sin. “And first I will recompense their iniquity and their sin double; because they have defiled my land” (Jeremiah 16:18). In Jeremiah 17:18 he prays, “Bring upon them the day of evil, and destroy them with double destruction.” Does God ever give twice as much punishment than is deserved to either a nation or an individual? Absolutely not!
No one will ever stand before God and say, “My punishment is greater than my sin!” God is a just God who never gives more punishment than deserved. Double refers to a complete or full measure of punishment, not twice as much.
Cain is a classic example of a sinner who complains about God’s punishment. God said, “When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth. And Cain said unto the LORD, my punishment is greater than I can bear” (Genesis 4:12,13). Cain felt that God was being too hard on him.
Mankind’s problem has always been that he never views sin as being quite as heinous as God sees it. Many times man will not even recognize sin as such, but rather designate it by a different term altogether: thereby endeavoring to take the sting out of sin.
One thing that each of us should do is to call sin, sin! We should not try to whitewash it, excuse it, or deny it.
Christ fully paid for our sin on the cross. “But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound” (Romans 5:20). “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23). NPS