Wednesday, October 28, 2009

What sins?

"In those days and at that time, says the LORD, the iniquity of Israel shall be sought, and there shall be none; and the sins of Judah, and none shall be found; for I will pardon the remnant that I have spared."
(Jeremiah 50:20)

As we read through the Old Testament, we encounter indictment after indictment of the Hebrew people by God.  They were not living as a people "set apart" in righteousness.  God sent prophet after prophet to bring them back to Him.  This had little impact.  So God allowed 2 major exiles to take place.  The people were carried away from their homeland & forced to live for 2 generations in a foreign land (Assyria for the Northern tribes & Babylon for the Southern tribes).  So it's somewhat surprising to read Jeremiah 50:20... "the iniquity of Israel will be sought, and there shall be none; the sin of Judah and none shall be found."

The truth is that the Hebrew Scriptures contain a laundry list of the sins of Israel (Northern tribes) and Judah (Southern tribes).  But int he eyes of God, their sins are no more.  Gone. Vanished.  Wiped Clean.  Forgiven.  (What sins?!?)

Sometimes we get the picture that God is like a Divine Judge who calls us into court & listens to the evidence against us before choosing to give us leniency.  "Despite all I see against you," we hear God say, "I'm going to let you off with a warning.  BUT DON'T LET IT HAPPEN AGAIN, you hear!?!?"  According to Jeremiah 50, however, it's a bit different.  It's more like God is that friend who always stands up for us - even when we're in trouble.  'You ain't got nothing on him,' he says to others about us.  'Go look it up and see for yourself!'  And sure enough, our past sins are nowhere to be found. 

We've all got things in our past (and present!??!) that we're not proud of.  Things we know we've done that we're ashamed of.  Thing we know have let God (and others) down.  We know, however, if we confess our sins, God has forgiven us.  But there's also that nagging feeling in the back of our minds that God still has "the list" of all our bad deeds somewhere in "safekeeping" - in case He needs to use it against us somewhere down the road.

The truth, my friends, is that there is no list.  When asked about it, God replies with all sincerity, "What sins?"

Wow.  Just wow!

No comments: