“If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities, Lord, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with you, so that you may be revered.” vss. 3-4
There are those who believe that God keeps a detailed record of our entire lives, and has therefore taken note of all our sins and indiscretions from the times of our youth until the present. The psalmist notes that if that were indeed the case all of us would be doomed. There would be no hope! In the face of that dismal prospect the psalmist claims that God’s natural disposition is one of forgiveness, and that’s what makes God great! It is true that we can find all kinds of references in scripture to a God of judgment…after all the bible teaches accountability and its writers certainly believed there were consequences for sin. But we already know that…we know what it’s like to pay for our misdeeds. We’re well acquainted with justice. And God certainly is a just God! But God is so much more than that! As scripture says again and again, the Lord is slow to anger and abounding with steadfast love. We could even say that forgiveness is God’s middle name. That’s what Jesus underlined in his ministry as he reached out to those beset by guilt and deserving punishment. “Your sins are forgiven,” he said to them and to us. We know that we are sinners…but we’re forgiven, not so we can sin some more, but so that we can imitate God in our loving and our caring.
Thought for the Day: How can God be just and forgiving at the same time?