“If you, Lord, kept a record of sins, Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness, so that we can, with reverence, serve you.” ~ Psalm 130:3-4
One Sunday I was talking about sin with the congregation and I made the statement: “What if we had a PowerPoint of all the sins you committed and threw them on the screen for all to see? What would that look like?” To this day I am not sure why I would say something like that. My thoughts, I think, surrounded the idea that we were keeping things from the Lord and that one cannot hide from God in the first place and so we should repent from undisclosed sin. People came up to me after the lesson and gave me the usual, “That’s what we needed to hear,” and, “Wow you really stepped on my toes!” I doubt that statements in that regard make much of a difference in our discipleship with the father. Most of them time they are used as a rhetorical scheme to make people wallow in their guilt.
The psalmist does not use rhetoric to make some huge theological point. He understands the nature of what he has done against God. There is no hiding the long list of his sins. Like a scar, the notebook of sins goes with him. That’s why reminding people of their guilt rarely works. They already know it. Yet the “AHA!” moment comes when the psalmist realizes his fatalistic attitude meets the life-giving force known as God. If a relationship with God were contingent on our record of wrongdoing then the logical conclusion is that none of us can pass the test. But…a word my spiritual inconsistent tendencies has grown to love…with God there is forgiveness. Whoa! In a neck breaking, “Are you kidding me?” sort of way we come to this text befuddled. Bamboozled if you will. The creator of all things who gave us life and freedom which we completely abuse for our own misuse is willing to let that go because he wants our worship…i.e., glory. I don’t know about you but I want to bask in that bit of sunlight this morning. Just let that sit on your heart right now and feel the ramifications of that. May you rest not in the record of your unrighteousness but in the realization of God’s forgiveness.
Prayer: Help me to acknowledge your forgiveness and not the guilt of my past. It’s so hard Lord. Amen.
- Why do we spend so much time talking about guilt?
- What does it mean to rest in God’s forgiveness to you?