Without the forgiveness of God, we can’t stand.
3 If you, Lord, kept a record of sins,
Lord, who could stand?
4 But with you there is forgiveness,
so that we can, with reverence, serve you.
Have you ever done something really fun at the time, but it turned out to be terrible?
There once was a young boy, barely in first grade, who followed the lead of their friend and helped absolutely destroy this friends’ dads’ collector car. Faded memory leaves it uncertain exactly what sort of car it was, except to say it was worthy of the dad’s hard work and money. Throwing rocks through the windows, hammering the doors and fenders, and playing ‘hopscotch’ across the roof seemed like such fun. That is until the dad arrived home. Seeing the face of the young friend gave a clear view into the ‘storm’ that would soon come.
Soon I staring into the face of my dad, feeling much shorter and imagining that pulling my lower lip over the back of my head might actually be an appealing alternative. But dad, knowing my fear, spoke calmly about what I did and the consequences. Today’s verses pose a thought very similar to the one running through my mind during this conversation, “I can’t handle what I deserve.” While I still had to face the consequence of my actions, which were in the end, bearable, I experienced forgiveness. This is precisely what the psalmist implies. Without the forgiveness of God, we can’t stand.
That day, my dad epitomized God’s forgiveness toward me because he knew of his heavenly father’s forgiveness – bought with the shedding of blood by God’s only Son. Hebrews 9:21-22 relates the importance of bloodshed for purifying things of worship, and how it brings forgiveness. Since this is God’s gift through His Son, there’s not a thing we can do to earn it, and we don’t deserve it. Consider those things in your own life where you have received unwarranted and undeserved forgiveness while listening to Amazing Grace My Chains Are Gone. Perhaps God will reveal someone you might need to forgive in light of the grace you’ve received.
21 And in the same way he sprinkled
with the blood both the tent
and all the vessels used in worship.
22 Indeed, under the law almost everything
is purified with blood,
and without the shedding of blood
there is no forgiveness of sins.
By Rich Obrecht