Acorns From Oakes

Seeing With Our Father's Eyes

Forgiveness

My brother-in-law, John, fellow Christian, preacher and good friend, reminded me this morning, via text, of Psalm 130:4. The Psalmist is addressing God when he writes this, But with You there is forgiveness; therefore You are feared.

I’m sure that you, like me, are deeply grateful for the fact that with our God there is forgiveness. Aren’t we glad beyond words that He abundantly pardons (Isaiah 55:7) and that He actually delights to forgive (Micah 7:18)? My forgiveness of others is too often narrow, stingy and cold, or at best, cool. He is teaching me better. I’m trying to stay in school with Him on that. I desperately rely on His forgiving me. And I understand, in my head, that His forgiving me is supposed to be translated into me forgiving others. By His grace I think I am moving in that direction.

But what I wanted to ask you is this…how is it that His forgiving us makes us “fear Him?”
I can see how it makes us love Him…or serve Him…or changes our lives for the better…or even how, for some, it might result in their taking Him for granted. But what do you think the writer has in view as he speaks of us “fearing Him?” I look forward to your take on this.

I pray your day has enough reminders of His loving purpose and presence with you that you don’t forget Him. How I need that too.

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6 thoughts on “Forgiveness

  1. Fear God and Keep His Commandments – Forgive One Another as I have Forgiven You. Matt 6:9-15 Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.

    For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive
    your sins. It sounds like we should fear God because we do not forgive.

    That sounds like we should be taking a look at that in our lives for sure and trying to remember what God is trying to tell us about this thing called Forgive.

    There is probably a lot more to this than what I put down. Would like to hear what others think also.

  2. Uncle John on said:

    It has always made we think why the Psalmist would say that…”that You may be feared.” Even with the psalmist’s limited understanding (minus Jesus the Messiah), he knew that forgiveness was an act of His Creator God toward someone who didn’t deserve it. There must be some part of us that “fears/reverences” God for taking that action on my behalf. It is an “awesome” thing, by an Awesome God and the mystery of His action should cause a degree of fearful wonder.

  3. I recently had a horrible dream that involved a counter that was constantly assessing the cost of my sin. I was at 900 billion dollars and the price went up by the second. I was overwhelmed with the idea that I could never pay it off … why try … it was hopeless.

    Because of this dream, when I read this Psalm I have an idea of what it would feel like if a record of my sin was being kept. So why would I fear the one who can forgive? At the time the Psalmist was writing this, Jesus hadn’t paid for all our sin. Their way of forgiveness was through sacrifice. If I was living knowing that I had to make sure my sacrifice was made, and made correctly, to pay for my sins I think I might be fearful of the one I was paying. A kind of reverent fear, but also a kind of fear that comes knowing the power of the person you are paying. He is a God of judgment and righteousness. He is serious about sin and it is not taken lightly.

    Knowing my sins are forgiven once and for all relieves me of the fear the Psalmist felt … maybe that’s why God was willing to send His only Son. I no longer have to have any fear where forgiveness is concerned. As long as I’m walking in the light He is faithful. I am so grateful to have the chance at the assurance this offers to me. I believe it was God’s intention that my heart rest in that assurance.

  4. oakesclan on said:

    Paige,
    I’m thinking…and maybe you would want to talk to our friendly neighborhood preacher (the one in your neighborhood)…I’m thinking that the real Israelite knew that the animal (and other) sacrifices didn’t really deal with sin. Didn’t David understand this in Psalm 51:16-17? He knew the external sacrifices he could offer didn’t do the job. The Hebrew writer explains that those sacrifices had an external element to them, i.e., they could cleanse the body and maintain one’s place in the national economy of Israel (Heb.9:10) but they couldn’t clear the conscience of the worshiper (Heb.9:9). This was accomplished on God’s part via Christ’s sacrifice which had retroactive benefits (forgiveness) to all people of faith prior to AD29 (Romans 3:21-26)…and on man’s part, faith (taking God at His Word) was (and is) always required. I agree with you that it would be nerve-racking and fear-inducing to think that one would have to rely on his ability to perfectly carry out the prescribed rituals in an attempt to insure they were in saving relationship with God. And there are plenty of Christians who still think it depends on them to get their sins confessed and prayed for in order to re-establish saving connection to Christ. What a terrible misunderstanding!
    I’m thinking that the fear involved in the Psalmist remark (130:4) has more of the idea of profound respect for the One Who offers forgiveness…because the true nature and terrible affects of sin are so world-shaking…and the means by which forgiveness is procured for us so profound and rich…and we are so utterly undeserving…that there can be no contempt (though we live in and enjoy His provided forgiveness for all our lives through), but rather an increasing gratitude and reverence for Him because of His wondrous commitment to us. What do you think?
    Thanks for checking in. God bless you in all the ways you are serving Him.

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