Exodus 34:7 (KJV) – Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin…
Psalm 130: 3-4, 7-8 (NIV)
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.
7 Israel, put your hope in the Lord,
for with the Lord is unfailing love
and with him is full redemption.
8 He himself will redeem Israel
from all their sins.
God is “forgiving.” The Hebrew verb used here (nasa) means “to lift or to carry.” This gives us a picture of what God does with our sin. He takes it away, lifting the heavy burden of guilt right off our shoulders. To show how forgiving he is, God lists three things he is willing to forgive: “iniquity and transgression and sin” (34:7). These are three categories of unrighteousness. “Iniquity” (‘awon) means to “turn aside” from what is right and good. “Transgression” (pesha‘) is more defiant. John Mackay defines it as a “willful violation of the terms of the covenant, involving not merely disobeying a rule or regulation, but betraying the relationship one has with the covenant King.” Anyone who commits this kind of sin is a traitor to God. The last term (“sin”; chatta’h) is the most general. It refers to any kind of moral failure. The point is that God is willing to forgive any and all kinds of sin. Sometimes we feel so weighed down with guilt that we wonder whether there is any way for God to forgive us. We are tempted to feel that what we have done is so evil that we have fallen beyond the reach of his grace. But however we define what we have done, God is willing to forgive our kind of sinner. He forgives wickedness, rebellion, and sin. [Ryken, Philip G. Exodus: Saved for God’s Glory]
We are alive today because God forgives. Spend a moment offering up thanksgiving and praise to our God who forgives us and redeems us.