Scripture Reading: “Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.” (Psalm 51:9)
Unlike man’s forgiveness, the forgiveness of God is absolute. The incredible biblical doctrine of justification by faith has been vividly articulated as the sinner in Christ standing before God “just as if” he had never sinned. Far from being unjustified, therefore, the plea for God’s face to be hidden from our sins and for our sins to be blotted out by God is an appropriate prayer to pray for our justification.
In Isaiah 43:25, God promised not only to “blot out [our] transgressions,” but also to remember them against us no more. Did you know that there is one thing that an omniscient God cannot remember? Our all-knowing God cannot remember the sins of those He has forgiven.
In Psalm 103:12, David jubilantly exclaims, “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.” If you start traveling north you will eventually cross the North Pole and start traveling south. Likewise, if you start traveling south you will eventually cross the South Pole and start traveling north. However, if you start traveling east you will always be traveling east and if you start traveling west you will always be traveling west. By declaring God’s removal of our sins from us “as far as the east is from the west,” David is teaching us that God’s forgiveness removes our sins from us forever.
One final scriptural illustration of God’s absolute forgiveness of our sins is found in Micah 7:19. Here, God promises to “cast all [our] sins into the depths of the sea.” Although man has been to the moon, he has never been to the bottom of the sea. Some places in the ocean are believed to be more than seven miles deep. By casting our sins into the depths of the sea, God puts them where no man can ever bring them up against us again. Oh, how matchless and marvelous is the absolute forgiveness of our God!
“God has forgiven all my sins;
Behind His back they all are cast.
He’ll never call to mind again
The sins He vanquished in the past.
God has forgiven all my sins,
And as a gloomy cloud is blown,
My sins are vanished all away!
No more will they be seen or known.
My sins were like a heavy stone
God cast and buried in the sea.
As east so far from west is thrown,
My sins have been removed from me!” (Author Unknown)