Seems such a paradox that we should expect and obtain mercy from a God we dread.
“But the mercy of the Lord is from without beginning, and till into without end; on men dreading him.”
Our fear of the Lord might consume us if we did not know He desires mercy rather than judgment. We might still be hiding ourselves from His sight if not for His own sacrifice, so that we might approach His throne of grace where He always lives to intercede for us.
“And his rightfulness is into the sons of sons; (But the Lord’s love is without beginning, and without end; for those who fear him/for those who revere him. And his righteousness shall never fail the children of their children,) to them that keep his testament. And be mindful of his commandments; to do those. (yea, they who keep his covenant; and who remember his commandments, and who do them.)” (Psalm 103: 17-18)
That dread of the Lord makes my heart leap into my throat and my stomach drop into my bowel. My fear of being separated from Him for all eternity keeps me shaking and quaking when I read His Word: “be mindful of [My] commandments; to do those.” No way I can honestly say to Him, “Oh yes Lord, I keep all Your commandments.”
I look to the cross. I kneel at the throne of grace. I rely on Him, always. Otherwise, I’m stuck in that dread of the Lord.
Love “does not keep a record of wrongs.” Forgiveness is like erasing a blackboard of chalk; then cleaning it so that it is black (or green) again. Forgiveness creates a blank slate. God says, “As far as the east is from the west, so far do [I] remove [your] transgressions from [you.] As a father has compassion on his children, so [I] have compassion on those who fear [Me].” (Psalm 103: 12 – 13, NIV)
God “knows how we are formed, He remembers that we are dust.” (Psalm 103: 14) And, God “does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.” (Psalm 103: 10)
Jesus says, “Forgive, and you will be forgiven.” (Luke 6: 37) He says, “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you?” (Luke 6: 32) Anyone is capable of being kind to those who are kind. Jesus calls on us to even love our enemies. He tells us,”Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” (Luke 6: 36) And, He warns us that God will not forgive us if we refuse to forgive others; for this means we have no concept of God. We — if we live in a spirit of bitterness and hatred of others — do not know that “God is love, and the one who remains in love remains in God, and God remains in him.” (1 John 4: 16, HCSB)
How many times are we to forgive one who wrongs us? Jesus says, “If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and comes back to you seven times, saying, ‘ I repent, ‘ you must forgive him.” (Luke 17: 3 – 4, HCSB)
Those whom God has forgiven much, love much. “But the one who is forgiven little, loves little.” (Luke 7: 47, HCSB)
This is a great command. Remember each day, each moment, the good things God is doing for you. Remember how He knit you together in your mother’s womb; remember His bringing you into the world; remember His loving-kindnesses to you.
God is good.
No evil thing comes from Him.
Therefore, lift up your voice to Him in praise and thanksgiving. He forgives you all your sins; He heals all your diseases.