by Wayne S. Walker
“You have forgiven the iniquity of Your people; You have covered all their sin. Selah” (Psalm 85:2). God’s own chosen people of the Old Testament, Israel, sinned grievously, even to the point where the Lord kept His promise made early in their history that if they rebelled He would cause them to be captured by an enemy nation and taken into captivity. Yet when, as a nation, they repented and confessed their sins to Him, He forgave them and allowed a remnant to return to the promised land.
There are many other instances of God’s forgiveness in the scriptures. David, king of Israel and generally a man after God’s own heart, sinned terribly by committing adultery with another man’s wife and then having him killed to cover it up. Yet David’s tender heart confessed, “I have sinned against the LORD,” and the prophet, guided by the Spirit, told him, “The LORD also has put away your sin; you shall not die” (2 Samuel 12:13). Peter, an apostle of Christ who said that he would never forsake Christ, denied that he even knew Jesus–not once but three times. However, after that he “went out and wept bitterly” (Luke 22:62). Later, Jesus asked him, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?” and Peter responded, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” Peter was forgiven.
It is certainly something that I am ashamed to admit, but I too have sinned, as have all responsible people (Romans 3:23). And the wages of my sin is death (Romans 6:23). Knowing this, I am so thankful that Christ offers “redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins” (Ephesians 1:7). Yet, even now, I continue to deal with the problem of sin. “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us,” and I am even more thankful for God’s promise, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:8-9).