Tuesday, February 05, 2013

God-Who-Forgives

mud bath
TODAY'S SPECIAL: Psalm 99:1-9

TO CHEW ON: "You answered them, O Lord our God;
You were to them God-Who-Forgives,
Though you took vengeance on their deeds." - Psalm 99:8


Imagine you're a kid and have been caught in a rainstorm walking home on a country road. Soon the ground underfoot is soft and squishy. Clay clings to the soles of your feet, encrusts your pant cuffs, and you have grungy spatters all up your legs. Then a car motors by, splashing mud all over you. Finally you reach home, but there your mom bars your entrance. She's just washed the floor and vacuumed the white carpet. "You can't come in like you are!" she says.

That person covered head to foot in grime at the door of a clean house is a crude picture of us before a holy God. It brings to mind Isaiah standing at the entrance of the temple. Inside the angels are praising: "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord." And Isaiah becomes keenly aware of his filthiness: "Woe is me for I am undone. Because I am a man of unclean lips" - Isaiah 6:1-5.

In this psalm the focus on God's holiness (Psalm 99:3,5,9) brings up thoughts of mankind's unworthiness in the writer. But then he remembers that God spoke to Moses, Aaron, and Samuel despite their imperfections. He was to them the God-Who-Forgives, though He didn't overlook their sins ("... You took vengeance on their deeds").

[Forgive: 1) to grant pardon for or remission of something and cease to demand the penalty for; 2) to grant freedom from penalty; 3) to cease to blame or feel resentment against; 4) To remit as a debt; 5) To show forgiveness, grant pardon; absolve.]

That's what God still does for us. No matter how dirty we are when we come to Him, or how much we mess up, He continues to be the God-Who-Forgives. Of course He doesn't overlook our sin-besmirched selves. He has made a wonderful way of dealing with our filthiness.

PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for being a God who forgives. May the love of Your holy presence be a hedge about me, keeping me from conscious and wilfull sin. Amen.

MORE: God cleans us up!
God not only forgives our sin but He cleans us up!

"Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols" - Ezekiel 36:25.

"...how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?" - Hebrews 9:14.

"But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin" - 1 John 1:7.

"... and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood" - Revelation 1:5.

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