Thankfully, God is
“Yet you did not call upon me, O Jacob; but you have been weary of me, O Israel! But you have burdened me with your sins, you have wearied me with your iniquities. I, I am He who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins.”
In today’s reading from Isaiah we hear God complaining a bit. After all of the history between Him and His people, they still forgot to call upon Him in their need. In fact they had forgotten all He had done. In forgetting, they turned away from Him and decided to rely on themselves. They basically said – I can figure it out for myself, I can save myself. Every time God blessed them with good things, they returned evil things:
God gave them the Temple – they gave Him idol worship. God gave them truth – they lived and proclaimed a lie. God gave them His commands – they lived like they were suggestions. God gave them wealth – they used it to abuse the poor. God gave them Himself – they gave Him nothing except rejection.
We can see ourselves doing similar things can’t we? We sometimes forget all the good God has done for us.
Like the children of Israel we might hear God complaining a bit about us. At the same time we may be filled with regret for having hurt Him, thinking that we really do not deserve to receive anything from God. Not true!
As God still loved Israel, God still loves us. As God desired to help Israel, He earnestly wants to help us change. Listen to God’s words: “Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”
God desires to do amazing and wonderful things for us. Things we ourselves could never imagine doing. Our God is not a god of condemnation; He is the God of salvation.
God continues to hold out the hand of hope – even today. If we have forgotten Him, we can come back. If we have fallen into bad habits, addiction, anger, any failing whatsoever, we can come back.
The greatest hope of all is that once we come back God has pledged to forget it all. God will not look back. I am He who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins.
To blot out means that our past wrongs have been wiped out, destroyed, and are forgotten. God will not meet us with a book filled with our sins, because there is no such book. By His power and abundant mercy He gives us new life, rebirth, and a clean slate. Let us approach the coming season of repentance knowing that in our return to Him we are made new once again.