Our Forgetful God

There are some things I just can’t forget. There are some wrongs done to me that I cannot erase from my mind. I try, I pray. I don’t want to remember them. I don’t want them to remain in my memory or to come back to my mind. But somehow I can’t forget them. Somehow, sooner or later, they come back, flooding me once again with all of those thoughts, feelings, and emotions.

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There are some things God just can’t remember. Perhaps better said, there are some things God just won’t remember. There are some wrongs done to him that he will not bring back to his mind. He doesn’t want to remember them. He doesn’t need to remember them. They never come back, flooding him with all of those thoughts, feelings, and emotions. They are erased from his mind and gone forever.

“I, I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins” (Isaiah 43:25). “For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more” (Jeremiah 31:34). “For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more” (Hebrews 8:12). “I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more” (Hebrews 10:17).

Looking at all of this evidence, Charles Spurgeon says, “This is a wonder to me, a wonder of wonders, that God should say that He will do what in some sense He cannot do—that He should use speech which includes impossibility, and yet that it should be strictly true as He intends it.” He intends for us to know that “His pardon is so true and deep that it amounts to an absolute oblivion, a total forgetting of all the wrong-doing of the pardoned ones.” God puts aside our sin so thoroughly, so utterly, so completely that it is like he has forgotten it altogether. He has so dealt with our sin that he does not ponder it, he does not ruminate over it, he does not allow it to change the way he thinks of us, he does not look for further justification to make right our wrong-doings. “The Great Father’s heart is not brooding over the injuries we have done. His infinite mind is not revolving within itself the tale of our iniquities. Ah, no. If we have fled to Christ for refuge, the Lord remembers our sin no more. The record of our iniquity is taken away, and the judge has no judicial memory of it.”

The very things I cannot forget are the very things God will not remember.

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