It’s ALL True – Not Just A Part Of It
Read Isaiah Chapter 64
Isa 64:8 Yet, O LORD, You are our Father. We are the clay, You are the potter; we are all the work of Your hand. 9 Do not be angry beyond measure, O LORD; do not remember our sins forever. Oh, look upon us, we pray, for we are all Your people. 10 Your sacred cities have become a desert; even Zion is a desert, Jerusalem a desolation. 11 Our holy and glorious temple, where our fathers praised You, has been burned with fire, and all that we treasured lies in ruins. 12 After all this, O LORD, will You hold yourself back? Will You keep silent and punish us beyond measure?
There are some people who have an enormous amount of trouble accepting the forgiveness offered to us by our Heavenly Father. I used to be one of those people, and at times still wrestle with it. It is difficult for some to truly believe that they can be forgiven, and are forgiven, for past sins. I wish I could skillfully articulate why that is so. Part of it might be because of their upbringing – being under the authority of parents or guardians who were harsh and unforgiving. That is perhaps the main factor in my life which caused me great trouble.
Another reason could be because of the weightiness of one’s particular brand of transgressions. That too, I can identify with. When I was young, all I could see in the bible was the promises for those who were unbelievers. I could not see that any of the promises of forgiveness applied to me and my situation. Beyond these thoughts, the issue gets more complex than I could ever understand. So we will say no more in that regard, leaving our reasoning about that behind for today’s discussion. Our main point today will be on the good promises from this passage from Isaiah.
- You are our Father – He truly is the Father of all who believe in Him. He isn’t only the Father of those who never sin. He isn’t only the Father of those who rarely sin, or of those who have conquered their sinful weaknesses. He is also the Father of those who attempt to follow Him, and fail miserably time and time again. Study the life of Samson as an example.
- Do not be angry beyond measure – The only reason that Isaiah included this kind of language in his writings is because that God really can be angry at those who belong to Him. There would be no reason to pray this way if it were not true. When we feel that God is angry with us, that’s a good thing. That means He cares; He loves us.
- Do not remember our sins forever – Of course He will not. There are no scripture passages which show us that His anger permanently resides on any of His sons.
- Look again upon us – There are many scriptures which reveal His faithfulness to us. He will not look away from us permanently. It isn’t possible.
- Will You keep silent and punish us beyond measure – Of course not! Again, we see many examples in His word in which He did not discipline His children forever. There is always an end to His disciplines. The duration of those disciplines partly (maybe completely) depends upon how long it takes us to repent.
If we are concerned over our SSA sinfulness; if we believe that we are suffering disciplines at the hands of God, we should be filled with much hope and assurance. It should not cause us to despair; to believe that we are not His children. It should remind us that we ARE His children. It should not bring us to believe that we are beyond hope. More often than I would like to recount, I have had conversations with SSA men who believe their situation is beyond hope. Much too often men believe that they are not His children, simply because their SSA struggle is continuing, seemingly without remedy.
Look in God’s word for hope, not for hopelessness. Accept the truth of all the good promises from His word. Know that God does not and cannot lie. Don’t believe the truth of what He says about unbelievers, and at the same time refuse to believe what He says about the repentance and restoration which is a sure thing for believers.
Prayer: Father, for way too many years I did that. I believed the horrors promised to unbelievers, and did not believe the unsearchable riches promised to those who seek You. For those who are still in that state, please help them to understand how merciful and forgiving You are. Do not let anyone continue to believe they are without hope. God have mercy!