The Unchanging God of Forgiveness
You are forgiving and good, O Lord, bounding in love to all who call to you.
In our fast-moving world, things change so rapidly that you are sometimes not sure where you are. In the week, he wrote this, Mike couldn’t work out why he couldn’t get in through the automatic door of his local D-I-Y store – until someone said, "It’s this side, mate!" Since his previous visit, they had completely revamped the store and had made the "out" door the "in" door and the "in" door the "out" door! Little wonder he didn’t know whether he was coming or going! But sometimes the whole of life can feel like that, can’t it? Places, people, buildings, things, organizations – all can change so rapidly that you hardly know where you are any more.
In an ever-changing world it is therefore good to remember that there is One Who never changes. "I the Lord do not change," God reminded His discouraged people through His prophet (Malachi 3:6). Many of them were wondering, after their return from exile, whether God had truly forgiven them and was still with them. Of course He is, Malachi said. He made a promise to be your God and to keep you as His people; so how could He - a covenant-keeping, unchanging God - go back on His Word?
It is because God does not change that He is as ready to forgive sin today as ever He was. In fact, forgiveness isn’t simply something God gives; it is something He is. For remember how He revealed Himself to Moses as "The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin" (Exodus 34:6-7).
There is no counselling or psychotherapist in the world that can deal with sin; only God can. Today, this unchanging God of forgiveness holds that forgiveness out to all who need it. Take it for yourself – and then take it to others!
"I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more." (Isaiah 43:25)
Copyright © 2017 Martin Manser and Mike Beaumont
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