Forgiveness and Mercy

Psalm 32:1-11 (ESV)

Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.

Blessed is the man against whom the LORD counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.

For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long.

For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. Selah

I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,” and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah

Therefore let everyone who is godly offer prayer to you at a time when you may be found; surely in the rush of great waters, they shall not reach him.

You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with shouts of deliverance. Selah

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.

Be not like a horse or a mule, without understanding, which must be curbed with bit and bridle, or it will not stay near you.

Many are the sorrows of the wicked, but steadfast love surrounds the one who trusts in the LORD.

Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, O righteous, and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!

This psalm, written by David, shows the forgiveness of God is all about repentance. When we turn to the Lord, He is faithful and forgives. During the time before Christ, Once a year, they would place their hands on the head of a goat, laying their sins upon it. Then they would set it free to wander in the desert. It was not killed. It was called the scapegoat, and it was for the sins they did not even know they had committed.

As David knew, there is nothing else like the assurance of forgiveness. When our sin is not held against us, we have freedom. True freedom. We are free to love others and to forgive them as well. When we have no forgiveness, or no realization of forgiveness, we have a hard time forgiving others. We must experience God’s love and forgiveness to pass it on.

I look at the world, and it is plain to see that forgiveness is not inherent in our DNA until we are redeemed. All the world is judgmental, hateful, and vengeful.

Once we are remade in Christ, we are a new creation. The old has gone, the new has come. Now we can forgive, even as Christ forgave us. He has changed our DNA. Forgiveness can and should be a part of our core being.

Take some time, and ponder God’s gift of forgiveness. Then practice the forgiveness toward others. Because we are creatures of habit, it may not come easy at first. But it is certainly worth the effort. We must choose to forgive.

by Virgil Stripes

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