And I will cleanse them from all their iniquity, whereby they have sinned against me; and I will pardon all their iniquities, whereby they have sinned, and whereby they have transgressed against me.
The delight for God always comes in the pardoning, not the punishing. Nothing pleases Him more than a heart willing to confess sin and forsake it. No words are sweeter from His people than their pleas for mercy. And while judgment was necessary, it was not what He wanted for His people. He wanted to bless, not hurt. He wanted to draw them closer, not scatter them abroad. He wanted to heal them, not punish them. He wanted to bless them and share in their joy, not destroy them. It’s like God can’t wait to get through the painful judgment to get to the restoration part. He looks forward to that day of redemption just as much as the people would.
God has the same delight in pardoning sin today as He did back then. He is quick to forgive and forgives to the uttermost and casts our sin away from us as if He hated that it ever was a part of us, that something black had stained His precious people and marred their beauty. He awaits with eager anticipation that day when we first bow our heads and admit that we are nothing but sinners and we need His mercy. And every day He is close by when we need to tell Him about some things we’ve done and get our hearts right again.
In our sinful flesh, we are going to make wrong choices. Encased in our imperfection, we will sin against our holy God. Living in a world surrounded by other sinful men and under the influence of Satan, we will fail and fall short of perfection. But no matter what kinds of mistakes we make, no matter how often we sin, and no matter how serious our transgression, God’s mercy is waiting for us. There is no sin or no amount of sin that He will not forgive, and there is no stain set in too deep that He cannot cleanse.
Let us go before God with humility and a heart of repentance any time we sin. He is waiting to forgive. He desires to show us His mercy. He is able to restore. God knows we won’t always do the right thing, but He has marked the path we can take back to Him very clearly. We may feel within ourselves that our sin is insurmountable, but Jesus took it all upon Himself. Instead of focusing on the things we’ve done, let us turn our eyes to our merciful God and rest in His forgiveness.