25 “I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more. 26 Review the past for me, let us argue the matter together; state the case for your innocence.”
Have you ever given your all to help someone — but they threw it all away? With arms wide open they willingly received your generous gifts. You gave from your heart, motivated by love. You invested time, energy, resources, and godly wisdom. But they squandered it all, turned their back on you, and acted as if you never existed.
Our focus text, references a similar scenario in which God’s chosen people had rejected His generosity, love, and good will. He had delivered them from bondage in Egypt, provided for them in the wilderness, and was leading them toward the promised land. But they weren’t satisfied and turned to idolatry. God’s good wasn’t good enough.
God loved His people and it grieved Him (Judges 10:16) to see the destructive path they had chosen for their lives. He had a solution, a plan we know as grace.
In verse 25, the Lord reminds His people He is the only one who can forgive sins. Only He can grant a pardon for their transgressions. And in the following verse, he calls court into session. Review your past. Prove your innocence.
Of course, they had no defense. They were guilty as charged and at the mercy of the court. Same is true for you and me. “All have sinned…” (Romans 3:23) “There is no one righteous, not even one.” (Romans 3:10)
As a child, somehow I got the idea that entry into heaven was granted on performance. Live without sin and you’re in.
When I was 11-years-old, my father died. Death was a frightening reality, something I knew I wasn’t prepared for. Sin became a big issue, and although I tried, I couldn’t overcome it. The clock was ticking toward my eventual demise, and I had to get my act together.
Obviously, my theology was wrong, at least about the sin-free life required for entrance into heaven. I was right, however, on the ticking clock. None of us knows when the timer will go off.
Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. James 4:14
Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near. Isaiah 55:6
That’s why it’s important we have our day in court. True enough, we have no defense for our transgressions against the Lord. To plead ignorance of the law or arrogantly reject the authority of the Judge leads only to the death penalty. And to suggest we’ve been a good or pretty good girl or boy is equally condemning. There is but one hope.
We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. Isaiah 53:6
Jesus paid the penalty we deserve. He took on our iniquity at Calvary. Therefore, there is only one plea the Lord will accept. “Guilty — as charged.” And then we must appeal to His grace, freely given in Christ. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
What a relief to know a right relationship with God isn’t gained by personal performance. Like I learned as a child, working our way into heaven is an exercise in futility.
Have you made the good confession that results in eternal life with the Father? If not, do it now while there is time.
If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10:9
And if you are a Christian, headed for eternity with the Father in His heaven, then give thanks. How wonderful to know a right relationship with God is not based on your flawed performance, but on the perfection of Christ.
For more on this topic, check out this article: How We Deceive Ourselves
Reprinted from The Forever Notebook, Book 4 (October – December) Get your copy here: Paperback and eBook/Kindle formats.