THE FORGETFULNESS OF GOD Andy Hollifield 12-27-16
Isaiah 43:25 “I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions, for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.”
Hebrews 10:15-17 “Whereof the Holy Ghost is also witness to us: for after that he said before, (16) This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; (17) And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.”
Psalms 103:12-14 “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. (13) Like as a father pitieth his children, the Lord pitieth them that fear him. (14) For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.”
The title at a glance would make all of us defensive about our God. Our first response is “God knows all things” and that is true. He knows all things except what he chooses to forget. I am thankful that he has chosen to forget all my sin and iniquities and transgressions. Others may remember our sins and shortcomings but I am glad that like he said in Micah 7:18 and 19 “Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy. (19) He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou will cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.” Aren’t you glad that he cast our sins into the “depths” of the sea? That means they are so deep that they can’t be fished out. Like I said earlier, others may remember them against us and some will never forget them or let us forget them. There are things I have done that I may not forgive myself for but God has already forgiven and forgotten. Do you think Peter ever really forgave himself for denying Christ? I think that he probably beat himself up over that the rest of his life. I also believe that probably drove him throughout his entire ministry. I don’t know that for sure but I can see how it could. Jesus had already forgiven him and one way I know that is by what the angel told Mary in the garden after the resurrection. The angel said “But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee:…” I personally believe he singled out Peter so he would know when he heard the message that all was forgiven. I am sure that, for the rest of his days, Peter recalled what he had done and was humbled and broken-hearted about it. Especially after being the one that told Jesus in John 6:68 “…Lord, to whom shall we go, thou hast the words of eternal life.” This was after many of the followers in the multitudes had gone away. I am sure he also remembered telling Jesus: “Though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee.”
The lesson to be learned from Peter is simply that we should let our failures be a driving force in working for him. Jesus has forgiven all our sin and iniquities and that is a debt we can never repay. Knowing what he has forgiven us of should make us want to please him and work even harder for him. If you notice in Peter’s life, he was not only the only one that got out of the boat and walked on the water with Jesus, but he was also the first one to walk into the empty tomb after Jesus had risen. He was also the first disciple to go to the Gentiles even in opposition of the church of Jerusalem. He spent his life, I believe, realizing that if Christ could forgive him, he could forgive anybody. One denial might could have been considered unintentional. The second could have been considered a momentary lapse of judgement. But three denials in a matter of just a few minutes? There is no excuse for that! But the bible says that after the third one that the cock crew and Christ looked at Peter and he remembered the words of the Lord and went out and wept bitterly. We like to kick Peter a lot because of what he did, but what have I done? How many times have I denied him? How many times have I failed to tell others about him when I have had a golden opportunity? How many times have I failed to show compassion to someone in need? How many times have I failed to read and study as I should? How many times have I failed to give him preeminence in my life? Yet, in spite of all my faults and failures, he has forgiven me of all of them. I like the way that the prophet Micah put it in verse 19 of chapter 7; he used the word cast which means to throw, hurl, or fling with a degree of force. He didn’t just remove them nearby but cast them in the “depths” of the sea. Knowing what all I have done and all that God has chosen to forget against me, shouldn’t I work with even more fervor and determination to lead others to him? The psalmist said in chapter 40 verse 2: “He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.” I know what I would have been without the Lord. I also know where he brought me from and where he is taking me to. What has God forgot about you? Knowing that, doesn’t it make you want to do more for him? Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!