Read Psalm 103:9-12
9 He will not always accuse,
nor will he keep his anger forever.
10 He does not deal with us according to our sins,
nor repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as the heavens are high above the earth,
so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
so far he removes our transgressions from us. (NRSV)
There may be some who do agree that God forgives sin,that he is a merciful God as this text describes. But what about my particular sins,am I somehow in a special category? Does his mercy extend to me or do I constitute an exception clause to his pardon?
The poet John Donne wrote one of his sonnets about this. “Wilt thou forgive that sin which I did shun a year or two,but wallowed in a score? When thou hast done,thou hast not done,for I have more.” In other words,my sins outweigh your mercy. My badness is greater than your goodness.
Donne finally concludes his poem by trusting that indeed God has done more. That Jesus’ death on his behalf embraces even his own repeated sin. Which is an encouragement for us. We do shun sin for a time and yet find ourselves lapsing. God does not give up on us or grow weary of our backsliding. He goes on offering mercy because the death of Jesus covers all sins whether they be past,present or future.
Our very great sins are met by an even greater mercy.