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Forgiveness

6th February 2010, mgh

 

1) Sin and Forgiveness

We all sin and fall far short of the example set by the Messiah Jesus (Yeshua), for it is recorded that there in “none righteous no not one”.(Romans 3: 10)

Feelings of failure and worthlessness are a normal reaction for the sensitive and genuine seeker of salvation and truth. The Bible gives comfort to those who seek to aspire to a better understanding of Yahweh. David in Psalm 145 presents the first stage in the way to salvation. Yahweh is near to those who seek “truth” and “fear him” and he preserves those that “love him”.


The LORD is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth. He will fulfil the desire of them that fear him: he also will hear their cry, and will save them. The LORD preserveth all them that love him: but all the wicked will he destroy.(Psalm 145: 18-20)


To seek truth, one must open wide the pages of the Bible, which is our only source of knowledge about Yahweh and his purpose with creation. With prayer and regular reading of the Bible, one will gradually increase in knowledge and understanding, as in the example of David and Daniel. We will then fear his great power as we read of his mighty acts and the control he exerts over the nations and their destiny. He is patient and longsuffering, but “all the wicked will he destroy”.


Psalm 145 also states that for those who do fear him Yahweh “will hear their cry”. It is then that we understand the role of and necessity of forgiveness when we fail in those high ideals set before us.


From the opening pages of the Bible the principle of forgiveness was established. For Adam and Eve a lamb was slain and its blood shed to cover their sin and disobedience. The Law of Moses for the nation of Israel instituted offerings for sin on an individual basis and a national basis. For the Christian the sacrifice of Yeshua and the shedding of his blood was introduced as the means of forgiveness. An example of the commandments under the Jewish Law is explained below from the book of Numbers.

Even all that the LORD hath commanded you by the hand of Moses, from the day that the LORD commanded Moses , and henceforward among your generations;
Then it shall be, if ought be committed by ignorance without the knowledge of the congregation, that all the congregation shall offer one young bullock for a burnt offering, for a sweet savour unto the LORD, with his meat offering, and his drink offering, according to the manner, and one kid of the goats for a sin offering.
And the priest shall make an atonement for all the congregation of the children of Israel, and it shall be forgiven them; for it is ignorance: and they shall bring their offering, a sacrifice made by fire unto the LORD, and their sin offering before the LORD, for their ignorance: (Numbers 15: 23-25)


Prayer was always important to those individuals who sought forgiveness.The Psalms contain pleas for forgiveness. The important principle established in the following quotations is the recognition of sin in our lives and then the request for forgiveness.

The troubles of my heart are enlarged: O bring thou me out of my distresses.
Look upon mine affliction and my pain; and forgive all my sins. Consider mine enemies; for they are many; and they hate me with cruel hatred. (Psalm 25: 17-18, a Psalm of David)


A Psalm of David, Maschil. Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.
Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.
When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long. For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Selah.
I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah. (Psalm 32: 1-5)


Thou hast forgiven the iniquity of thy people, thou hast covered all their sin. Selah.

Thou hast taken away all thy wrath: thou hast turned thyself from the fierceness of thine anger. Turn us, O God of our salvation, and cause thine anger toward us to cease.

Wilt thou be angry with us for ever? wilt thou draw out thine anger to all generations? Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee?

Shew us thy mercy, O LORD, and grant us thy salvation.(Psalm 85: 2-7)


Be merciful unto me, O Lord: for I cry unto thee daily. Rejoice the soul of thy servant: for unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul. For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee. Give ear, O LORD, unto my prayer; and attend to the voice of my supplications.(Psalm 86: 3-6, a Psalm of David)


Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;
The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy... He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever. He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. (Psalm 103: 2-4. 8-12: a Psalm of David)


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