A Divine Pass
“Remember not the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways;
according to your love remember me, for you are good, O LORD.”
Aren’t you glad that God doesn’t remember the sins of your youth, the indiscretions of yesteryear? For that matter, aren’t you glad God doesn’t count your sins from yesterday against you? I sure am. And so was David.
David knew better than anyone the benefit of God’s gracious forgiveness. Perhaps no other person in history had his dirtiest, darkest laundry aired in public more than David did. Adulterer, conspirer, manipulator, cold-hearted you-know-what, murderer—that’s what David was! Yet David found in God something that you and I depend on for our very existence, something the non-believing world cannot grasp: Unconditional, unlimited, undeserving forgiveness.
Of all the Divine benefits David enjoyed in his life, forgiveness was right there at the top of the list. In that eloquent poetic listing of the blessings of belonging, Psalm 103, forgiveness was the very first one he mentioned:
Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits-
who forgives all your sins…” (Psalm 103:1-3)
David went on to describe the scope of God’s forgiveness in verses 9-14:
“He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.”
How does God forgive? According to those verses, in grace and mercy God forgives all of our sins. He doesn’t give us what we deserve—punishment—and he gives us what we don’t deserve—forgiveness. How does he forgive us? Completely—as far as the east is from the west he removes the stain and guilt of our sin. Last time I looked, that was a long way away! How does God forgive us? Out of the compassion of a father’s heart—like a father overflowing with love for a wayward child.
Perhaps that’s why David could write so many beautiful songs about the goodness of God. He, more than anyone, understood the benefits and blessings of being forgiven.
Perhaps it would do you some good to stop and consider for a moment the benefits and blessings of the gracious, undeserving, unlimited forgiveness that God has extended to you. Maybe, like David, as you realize how much you have been covered by his grace and mercy, you too, will exclaim, “Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.” (Psalm 32:1)
“Our Savior kneels down and gazes upon the darkest acts of our lives. But rather than recoil in horror, he reaches out in kindness and says, ‘I can clean that if you want.’ And from the basin of his grace, he scoops a palm full of mercy and washes our sin.”