Weekly Devotional 11-20-23 For His Own Sake
“25 I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake; and I will not remember your sins” (Isaiah 43:25).
Isaiah, God’s prophet, was led to warn Judah (the Southern Kingdom of Israel) of God’s coming judgment against them because of their unfaithfulness and idolatry. They were on their way to being conquered and taken into captivity by Babylon, but along with the warning was God’s promise of deliverance and of His forgiveness for their transgressions and sins. He assured them that He would blot out those transgressions and would remember their sins no more, for His own sake.
God had called Israel to be His chosen people to make of them a kingdom of priests and a holy nation (Exodus 19:6). He laid it upon Himself to bring this about. To fail to redeem Israel (Judah) would declare God not to be God. Thus for His own sake He will blot out their transgressions and remember their sins no more. That is, He will totally forgive them for their sins. The ultimate realization of this is still in Israel’s future and God testified of this through His prophet Jeremiah, “31Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah— 32not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the Lord. 33But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 34No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more” (Jeremiah 31:31-34).
National redemption is coming to Israel, perhaps not too long into the future, but what He will do for national Israel He is presently doing for many of its people and praise God, for many Gentiles also. He is accomplishing this by efficaciously calling individuals unto Himself regenerating them to newness of spiritual life; as God breathed the breath of life into Adam, so He rebirths spiritual life in those who were spiritually dead toward Him. The apostle Paul wrote of this in his letter to the Ephesians; 1And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, 3among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. 4But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:1-6).
Paul included the Ephesians (who were Gentiles) and his own people (who were Jews) in this letter saying that all were dead toward God before He moved in their hearts. The next verse tells of His purpose in this, “7that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus”. Oh the wonder of this! God has His own purposes for what He does, and man is the benefactor of His motives. Not all people, but those who respond in faith to His efficacious call.
Transforming Power; the Work of God on Behalf of Man