Mercy and Forgiveness Freely Given
Category : General
Isaiah 55: 8(KJV)
8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.
People find it difficult to pardon at all. They harbor malice; they seek revenge; they are slow to forgive an injury. Not so with God. He harbors no malice; he has no desire of revenge; he has no reluctance to forgive.
It is noted that interpreters have differed in regard to the connection of this verse with the preceding. It is evident, I think, that it is properly connected with the subject of pardon; and the sense must be, that the plans and purposes of God in regard to forgiveness are as far above those of people as the heavens are higher than the earth, Isaiah 55:9. But in what respects His plan of pardon differs from those of people, the prophet does not intimate, and can be understood only by the views which are presented in other parts of the Bible.
As we consider the scope of man, we see that the thoughts of men are evil, even the imagination of their thoughts, yea, every imagination is, and that always and only so; but the thoughts of God are holy, as appears from his purposes and covenant, and all his acts of grace, in redemption, calling, and preparing his people for glory: the thoughts of men, as to the object of them, are vain, and nothing worth; their thoughts and sentiments of things are very different from the Lord’s, as about sin, concerning Christ, the truths of the Gospel, the people of God, religion, holiness, and a future state, and in reference to the business of salvation; they think they can save themselves; that their own works of righteousness are sufficient to justify them; their privileges and profession such, that they shall be saved; their wisdom, riches, and honor, a security to them from damnation: however, that their sincere obedience, with repentance for what is amiss, will entitle them to happiness. However, the thoughts of God are the reverse of all this; particularly with respect to pardoning mercy their thoughts are different; carnal men think of mercy, but not of justice, and of having pardoning mercy in an absolute way, and not through Christ, and without conversion and repentance; and so this is a reason why men’s thoughts are to be forsaken, because so very unlike to the Lord’s. Or else these words are to be considered as an argument, proving that God does abundantly pardon all returning sinners; since he is not like men, backward to forgive, especially great and aggravated crimes, but is ready, free, and willing to forgive, even those of the most aggravated circumstances.
In essence, God is saying My disposition and carriage is vastly differing from yours. If any man provoke or injure you, especially if he do it greatly, and frequently, and maliciously, you are very slow and backward to forgive him; and if you do or seem to forgive, and promise to forget, and pass it by, yet you retain a secret grudge in your hearts, and upon the least occasion and slight offence you forget your promise, and you are soon weary with forgiving, and prone to revenge yourselves upon him: but it is not so with Me; for I am slow to anger, and ready to forgive all true penitents, how many, and great, and numberless whatsoever their sins be; and My promises of mercy and pardon shall be infallibly made good to them. And therefore, you need not fear to come to Me, or to find mercy and acceptance with Me. No matter what it is, turn to and trust God rather than man.
Have a great and God filled day!