I am writing this for those who may feel that they have been forgotten by God, and who feel that their sins are too great for God to consider them. Your offences have been swept away.
There are many people who are prisoners of their past. Sometimes this is because of what others have done to them. Sometimes it is because of the wrong things that they themselves have done.
There may be things in your past that you regret, and that perhaps bring you guilt and shame when they come to your mind. If that is the case, then you will find a beautiful image of the forgiveness of God in Isaiah 44:21–22 (NIV):
“Remember these things, Jacob,
for you, Israel, are my servant.
I have made you, you are my servant;
Israel, I will not forget you.
I have swept away your offenses like a cloud,
your sins like the morning mist.
Return to me,
for I have redeemed you.”
The joy of salvation is the joy of forgiveness
Did you catch that? God has swept away your offences like a cloud. He has swept away your sins like the morning mist.
Have you ever gone on a journey very early in the morning and seen the deep mist over the valleys? It seems so thick, almost solid! Yet as the sun rises into the sky, the low-hanging cloud is quickly swept away.
That is how God deals with your sins. No matter how heavy they may lay upon you, He has swept them away like the sun evaporates the morning mist, or like the breeze sweeps away the clouds in the sky. When God has forgiven you, no trace of your sins will remain.
As we get caught up in the busyness of our lives, it’s so easy to forget where we’ve come from. If you’ve had your past forgiven by God, it’s easy to forget how good He has been to you. When the sun is shining, it’s easy to forget the clouds. That’s why God tells us that we have to “remember these things”.
More than that, He tells us to return to Him. God doesn’t say, “Return to me and I will forgive your sins.” No! What He is saying in verse 22 is, “Return to me because I have already forgiven your sins.”
Your offences have been swept away like a cloud
What does God mean here, as far as you and I are concerned? He means that forgiveness is made available through what Jesus has achieved at the Cross.
God came down to you, on this earth, in the person of Jesus. He doesn’t wait for you to feel ready to return or worthy of returning to him. He has removed every barrier, every objection, that you could ever have against returning with Him, and He simply says, “Come, and accept the gift. My forgiveness is ready. Are you willing?”
You may never fully understand how God could so perfectly and fully forgive you,
That’s why the prophet Isaiah continues in verse 23,
Sing for joy, you heavens, for the Lord has done this;
shout aloud, you earth beneath.
Burst into song, you mountains,
you forests and all your trees,
for the Lord has redeemed Jacob,
he displays his glory in Israel.
The joy of salvation is the joy of forgiveness. It’s knowing that the Lord has swept away your offences like a cloud, and your sins like a morning mist.
Article supplied with thanks to Dr Eliezer Gonzalez.
About the Author: Dr Eli Gonzalez is the senior pastor of Good News Unlimited and the presenter of the Unlimited radio spots, and The Big Question. Sign up to his free online course called Becoming a Follower of Jesus to learn about Jesus and His message.