Isaiah 43:25 : “I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.” KJV
Jeremiah 31:34 34: “And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord; for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” KJV
We all have done things we regret. Thinking back upon them, there are (unfortunately) more than I can number. And thusly, we all would love to forget those things. But we don’t. We are reminded everyday by our situation or circumstance, by friends or enemies, by loved ones (seeing how our regrets affected them) and by those who are still angry with us. It is difficult to forget.
Then there is, the enemy of our faith, who constantly accuses us before the Father (Revelation 12:10). He is constantly reminding us of our regrets.
However, I have come to realize (after 41+ years of walking with the LORD), that regret in the life of the genuine believer is unrealized forgiveness. Think about it, would we be assured of our relationship with God if He had something against us? I don’t think so. I believe that if He were not pleased, He would (after giving us space to repent) gently correct us, Hebrews 12:6-8: “For whom the Lord loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives.” If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons.” NKJV
So if we are continuing in sin and not being corrected, perhaps we should go back to the beginning? Perhaps we are not “Sons” after all? Lets look at a couple of words in these passages of Scripture:
Chasten, paideuo (pahee-dyoo’-o), to train up a child, i.e. educate, or (by implication) discipline (by punishment). The word also is used with the meaning, “to chastise with blows, to scourge” (see Luke 23:16, 22).
Scourges, mastigoo (mas-tig-o’-o), to flog (literally or figuratively). It is used literally and figuratively in the NT. Here in Hebrews, it is used metaphorically of God correcting His Children.
The Mishna, the “Oral Commandments of (interpreting) the Law,” describes flogging as, the use of three leather strips to the chest, and both arms (thirteen each) for a total of 39. One was omitted as a gesture of mercy towards the offender. Paul endured this physically five times (2 Corinthians 11:24).
Not nearly as severe as Roman Flogging (which often left the offender dead before he could be crucified), it still required a great deal of medical care and took quite a while to heal. And most certainly, left scars to remind the offender.
I don’t know about you, but sometimes it is difficult (during correction) to believe that the LORD is doing this out of love. Yet, we must remember, that if we do not endure “corrections,” we are not His children.
I don’t pretend to know exactly why I have endured what I have (I just got home from the hospital, having had a blocked small intestine – no, you really do not want to know the details). But what I do know is that God has said to us though His Word: “For whom the Lord loves He chastens…” and that is enough for me.
And knowing that, I believe that He forgives our sins and chooses not to remember them. In doing so He has no regrets; in fact, He delights in doing so, Isaiah 55:7: “Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the Lord, And He will have mercy on him; And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon.” NKJV
God has no regrets about pardoning us, so we should not have any regrets about accepting that pardon. A lesson I still am learning. I hope you are too.
Think about it…