Isaiah, in this 43rd chapter, reiterates that God is our only savior. He alone redeems us from our enemies of sin and death. It is he who we are to honor with our whole hearts, our whole minds, and our whole strength. And if we do this, he will restore us, even from our failings and faults.
Today’s passage is really dear to us. “I, I am he who blots out your transgressions for my sake, and I will not remember your sins.” In this passage he declares his intentions toward us intimately. He makes a promise to us in his name, the name he gave to Moses on Mt. Sinai, “I Am.” It is in this name that all things find their being. And he is always true to his name. It is in the image of this name that we are made. This is why he says that he blots out our transgressions for “my sake.” It is because of this knowledge that our hearts can take refuge in him. It is the reason why our hearts can be assured, comforted, and encouraged.
Do we hear what God is saying to us here? He says that he not only blots out our sins for his sake, but that he “will not remember” them. These words humble us. We know ourselves as sinners, we know the pain of our own guilt. Our consciences have burned within us and we have known our great need for forgiveness often. Yet we often find it difficult, sometimes seemingly impossible, to forgive ourselves, or those who sin against us. When we hear God say to us here in Isaiah that he will not only “blot out our transgressions, but that he “will not remember” them, do we believe these powerful words? God is God. His word is True and always faithful. God’s gift of liberation to the Israelites in Isaiah’s time, and that of our eternal redemption from sin and death through Jesus Christ, was given to us by God not because of our constancy but because of his faithfulness to us. Love, remember, “does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.” (1 Corinthians 13:5).
Does this not reveal God’s love for us. Unlike us in our brokenness, God’s love is always faithful, and never arbitrary. His word is the very ground of Truth, and is never broken. God’s love knows no bounds when it comes to us. To know God in this way is to desire with all of your being to love him in return.
Lord, how can we stand before you in our nakedness without being overwhelmed by awe in the light of your love? In you alone do we find our hope. Help us to be faithful to you in return. Give us eyes to see and hearts to know the depth of your love for us. Give us the courage to forgive, to love one another as you love us. We pray in the power of your name, Jesus. Amen!
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