14 day plan

Family Peacemaking

Day 11 of 14

Isaiah 43:25

25“I am the one, I sweep away your transgressions

for my own sake

and remember your sins no more.

Reflection:  Forgiveness is not forgetting.  Forgetting is a passive process – something fades from our memory with the passing of time.  Forgiving though, is an active process; it involves a conscious choice and a deliberate course of action.

When God says that he ‘remembers your sins no more’ he is not saying that he can’t remember them.  Rather he is promising to choose not to.

Forgiving doesn’t mean that the offender didn’t really hurt you and when we choose to forgive, we aren’t condoning bad behaviour, but responding in a way that seeks to redeem the hurt and pain.

Forgiveness is not excusing.  Excusing says, ‘that’s ok’ and implies, ‘What you did wasn’t wrong, or you couldn’t help it.’  Forgiveness is the opposite of this and says, ‘we both know that what you did was wrong and without excuse.  But God has forgiven me, and I choose to forgive you.”

Author Lewis Smedes writes: “Forgiveness is a redemptive response to having been wronged and wounded.  Only those who have wronged and wounded us are candidates for forgiveness.  If they injure us accidentally, we merely excuse them.  We only forgive the ones we blame.”

Question:  Is there someone in your life you are struggling to forgive?  Does knowing that forgiveness is a conscious choice and a deliberate course of action help or hinder you?

Prayer:  Lord, I am in awe that you have chosen to love and forgive me, and that when you look at me, you don’t see my wrongdoing at all.  Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me!   And now, Lord, empower me to do the same.  Amen.

Isaiah 43:1-28

Restoration of Israel

1Now this is what the Lord says —

the one who created you, Jacob,

and the one who formed you, Israel —

“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;

I have called you by your name; you are mine.

2When you pass through the waters,

I will be with you,

and the rivers will not overwhelm you.

When you walk through the fire,

you will not be scorched,

and the flame will not burn you.

3For I am the Lord your God,

the Holy One of Israel, and your Savior.

I have given Egypt as a ransom for you,

Cush and Seba in your place.

4Because you are precious in my sight

and honored, and I love you,

I will give people in exchange for you

and nations instead of your life.

5Do not fear, for I am with you;

I will bring your descendants from the east,

and gather you from the west.

6I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’

and to the south, ‘Do not hold them back!’

Bring my sons from far away,

and my daughters from the ends of the earth —

7everyone who bears my name

and is created for my glory.

I have formed them; indeed, I have made them.”

8Bring out a people who are blind, yet have eyes,

and are deaf, yet have ears.

9All the nations are gathered together,

and the peoples are assembled.

Who among them can declare this,

and tell us the former things?

Let them present their witnesses

to vindicate themselves,

so that people may hear and say, “It is true.”

10“You are my witnesses” —

this is the Lord’s declaration —

“and my servant whom I have chosen,

so that you may know and believe me

and understand that I am he.

No god was formed before me,

and there will be none after me.

11I — I am the Lord.

Besides me, there is no Savior.

12I alone declared, saved, and proclaimed —

and not some foreign god among you.

So you are my witnesses” —

this is the Lord’s declaration —

“and I am God.

13Also, from today on I am he alone,

and none can rescue from my power.

I act, and who can reverse it?”

God’s Deliverance of Rebellious Israel

14This is what the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel says:

Because of you, I will send an army to Babylon

and bring all of them as fugitives,

even the Chaldeans in the ships in which they rejoice.

15I am the Lord, your Holy One,

the Creator of Israel, your King.

16This is what the Lord says —

who makes a way in the sea,

and a path through raging water,

17who brings out the chariot and horse,

the army and the mighty one together

(they lie down, they do not rise again;

they are extinguished, put out like a wick) —

18“Do not remember the past events;

pay no attention to things of old.

19Look, I am about to do something new;

even now it is coming. Do you not see it?

Indeed, I will make a way in the wilderness,

rivers in the desert.

20Wild animals —

jackals and ostriches — will honor me,

because I provide water in the wilderness,

and rivers in the desert,

to give drink to my chosen people.

21The people I formed for myself

will declare my praise.

22“But, Jacob, you have not called on me,

because, Israel, you have become weary of me.

23You have not brought me your sheep for burnt offerings

or honored me with your sacrifices.

I have not burdened you with offerings

or wearied you with incense.

24You have not bought me aromatic cane with silver,

or satisfied me with the fat of your sacrifices.

But you have burdened me with your sins;

you have wearied me with your iniquities.

25“I am the one, I sweep away your transgressions

for my own sake

and remember your sins no more.

26Remind me. Let’s argue the case together.

Recount the facts, so that you may be vindicated.

27Your first father sinned,

and your mediators have rebelled against me.

28So I defiled the officers of the sanctuary,

and set Jacob apart for destruction

and Israel for scorn.