When I Forgive

When I Forgive

01 September 2009


62 And I will reaffirm my covenant with you, and you will know that I am the Lord. 63 You will remember your sins and cover your mouth in silence and shame when I forgive you of all that you have done, says the Sovereign Lord. (Ezekiel 16:62-63 NLT)

I really don’t enjoy reading the almost pornographic description of Judah’s sin and idolatry in Ezekiel 16. C’mon God, this is the Bible! What if kids read this stuff!

This is the history of God’s chosen people seen through God’s eyes: Helplessness, mercy, sin, grace, more sin, much patience and more mercy, more sin, much patience and more grace, the inevitable consequences of sin, Forgiveness!

God’s emotional involvement with his people really shows through here. He moves from compassion and mercy through hurt, disappointment, and anger to patient, settled, steadfast, forgiving love.

I’m thinking of some friends whose twenty-something son is living a life of wasteful, rebellious, self-destructive sin. They have endured soul-dark sleepless nights, logged hours in the courtroom and more at the jail, driven many miles to rescue him, prayed every prayer they can pray, and then stood by helplessly as he goes away again.

I’ve learned much about God’s Father-love by watching them be loving and stern, gentle and firm, frustrated and patient, angry and forgiving, discouraged and hopeful, restoring and releasing, and finally simply waiting and trusting. What a happy day it will be when their son finally returns and can fully receive his place in their love!

22 It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. 23 They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22-23)


Father, I’m speechless when I think of your tender mercies, your steadfast love, and your great faithfulness. I know you are sometimes angry and disappointed in my selfishness and short-sightedness, that you are both firm and gentle in your instruction and correction, and that you are steadfastly loving and enduringly patient with me. When you once again rescue me from myself and forgive me from your heart, I’m speechless! Thank you. Speechless. Amen.

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