We start with a sad story of a jilted Lover:
“For their heart was not steadfast toward Him,
Nor were they faithful in His covenant.
But He, being compassionate, forgave their iniquity and did not destroy them;
And often He restrained His anger
And did not arouse all His wrath.
Thus He remembered that they were but flesh,
A wind that passes and does not return.
How often they rebelled against Him in the wilderness
And grieved Him in the desert!
Again and again they tempted God,
And pained the Holy One of Israel.” Psalm 78:37-41
God wrote the script He gave to Hosea the Prophet to illustrate the pain this caused Him for His beloved Israel to forsake Him and to flaunt their ingratitude and sin in His face.
“How can I give you up, O Ephraim?
How can I surrender you, O Israel? . . .
My heart is turned over within Me,
All My compassions are kindled.
I will not execute My fierce anger;
I will not destroy Ephraim again.
For I am God and not man, the Holy One in your midst,
And I will not come in wrath.” Hosea 11:8-9
These passages capture the longing ache the Creator had for His ungrateful, rebellious people. He chose to “wipe out” our transgressions. For His own sake.
“I, even I, am the one who wipes out your transgressions for My own sake,
And I will not remember your sins.” Isaiah 43:25
But God, being perfect and just, could not just “let bygones be bygones,” ignoring sin. A just penalty had to be paid. Unbelievably, He chose to wipe out our sin-debt by paying the due penalty Himself, allowing Himself to be both just and the justifier (Romans 3:26) at the same time.
“I will bear the indignation of the Lord
Because I have sinned against Him,
Until He pleads my case and executes justice for me.
He will bring me out to the light,
And I will see His righteousness.” Micah 7:9
“For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. . . But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:6, 8
What is your response to His act of justice and the clean slate He holds out to you? What does His passion and action motivate you to do?