Summary: When we seek God’s forgiveness, He not only forgives, He forgets.
We’ll be looking at Psalm 25 today, paying particular attention to verse 7.
This is an acrostic psalm, one of the four psalms using the twenty-two letters of the Hebrew alphabet as the first letters of each line.
You remember the old acrostic song we used to sing about mother.
M is for the many things she gave me.
O is only that she’s growing old.
T is for the tears were shed to save me.
H is for a heart of purest gold.
E is for the eyes with love light shining.
R means right, and right she’ll always be.
Put them all together; they spell mother,
The word that means the world me.
This is written like that.
A graduate of Yale University was called upon to make a speech at a civic club, and he decided he would take the acrostic Y-A-L-E and make a speech about that.
He talked about Y for about fifteen minutes ... for youth and a lot of other things. Then he took A and talked for fifteen more minutes ... action, attitude, and all of these things. After thirty minutes, one listener said to another, "I’m certainly glad he didn’t attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology."
This psalm is written as an acrostic, and it is a marvelous prayer. A strange thing is prayed in this acrostic. This is David praying, a man of many sins,
and you wonder, "Can a man like him pray like this?" Read verse 7: "Remember not the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways; according to your love remember me, for you are good, O Lord."
Is It Possible?
Is it possible for David or us to pray, "Forget my sins; remember me"? Is it possible that God would forget our sins and remember us? That’s really the way of God. It is His way to forget sins. That’s what God is like.
I’ve decided if you want to find the mind of God, you get together the sharpest people on this earth, find out what they think, and then think just the opposite. God says, "How do you become great? You become a servant. Who’s going to be first? He who is last. How can you work your way to heaven? You can’t. It’s a gift." God’s way is not our way, and God’s way is to forget the sins of His people.
In Jeremiah 31:34, the prophet says God will forget our sins and remember them no more. Two chapters later, he says God will forget our sins and remember them no more.
In Hebrews 8 and 10, it says God will forget our sins and remember them no more.
God is trying to tell us something. He can forget our sins and remember them no more. That’s the way of God.
That great missionary E. Stanley Jones said God buries our sins in the sea of His forgetfulness and puts up a sign that reads, "No fishing here." He forgets our sins and remembers them no more.
I remember several years ago when I got my first computer. I had typed several pages in my computer for an assignment for seminary. I had worked long and hard, done hours of research, had labored over the correct word, the correct grammar. I had been careful to include the right scriptural support and had documented my sources by footnoting. I accidentally hit the wrong button and I wiped out the whole assignment. I was devastated. I tried to find it. It was in some never, never land, never to be retrieved again. That was tragic enough, but that was not the only time that I have done that. I try now to be careful to save my work as I go along. I stopped and saved this when I was working on my sermon.
Well, God says our sins are gone. They’re no longer there. He has pushed the "delete" button, and they’re gone.
I wish we had never invented church language. I don’t much like it ... those words only Christians use. I remember going to church when I was a child. I remember hearing people get up to share a testimony, and saying something to the effect, "I went forward and I was washed in the blood of the lamb." Can you imagine how thrilling it would sound to a child to go forward, whatever that is, and be washed in the blood of a lamb? It’s a wonderful thing to study the life of Christ and develop an understanding of His sacrifice on the cross of Calvary.
To understand from God’s Word about His being a sacrifice like a lamb taken to slaughter. And that without the shedding of blood, the blood that Christ shed on the cross, there can be no forgiveness of sins. It’s a wonderful thing, but I didn’t know that as a small child.