Seek the LORD while He may be found,
Call upon Him while He is near.
Let the wicked forsake his way,
And the unrighteous man his thoughts;
Let him return to the LORD,
And He will have mercy on him;
And to our God,
For He will abundantly pardon.
On the first occasion that I was asked to preach, these verses from Isaiah were selected for me as my subject — for He will abundantly pardon. So new was I to such a task, I could not think what to say, and I suspect that the end result had more of me than The Holy Spirit about it.
Do I know any differently now? Isaiah’s words at one level are easily understood and gloriously reassuring, so why do I look beyond what is there before me? After all, this pardon is something that I know that I have received from Him, and in abundance also. As I write, I find myself thinking — ‘Is it because I feel so unworthy of such amazing mercy and forgiveness?’ My guess is that the sense of not deserving His amazing grace is the root of it.
Looking at the original meaning of those words abundantly pardon, and we find that a literal translation is ‘to increase’ and ‘to forgive’, or in better English, ‘increasingly forgive’, or ‘increased forgiveness’. There is also the sense that the forgiveness knows no bounds — that it is beyond the limits of our minds to comprehend.
That is our difficulty. His limitless understanding of us (His judgement) and His unconditional love (His goodness, grace and mercy) is so overwhelmingly outside our natural experience, it is hard to believe.
And yet it is so. Thus we turn to other gods — our own particular golden calf — because it sits before us at our level. Whatever that idol or little god or gods we have chosen (or been drawn to choose), we can struggle to lift our eyes higher and see The Lord.
But by His grace, by His power, by His Spirit, we can seek Him while He may be found, we can call upon Him while He is near — His presence surrounds us, He is ever near, and all we need do is make a conscious decision to reach out and His Spirit floods in as easily as breathing. He does abundantly pardon.
MEDITATE ON THESE THINGS
They appointed a leader
To return to their bondage.
But You are God,
Ready to pardon,
Gracious and merciful,
Slow to anger,
Abundant in kindness,
And did not forsake them.
“Even when they made a moulded calf for themselves,
And said, ‘This is your god
That brought you up out of Egypt,’
And worked great provocations,
Yet in Your manifold mercies
You did not forsake them in the wilderness.
The pillar of the cloud did not depart from them by day,
To lead them on the road;
Nor the pillar of fire by night,
To show them light,
And the way they should go.
“SEEK THE LORD WHILE HE MAY BE FOUND”
Song: BREATHE — Michael W Smith
‘PRAYER REQUIRES SILENCE’
WATCH GOD'S WAYS in your life, you will find He is developing you as He does the trees and the flowers, a deep silent working of the God of creation.
[from ‘Disciples Indeed’ by Oswald Chambers]
LISTEN TO THIS MEDITATION HERE
COMING NEXT… #519 BREATHE YOUR BREATH OF LIFE IN ME
GEORGE and GILL STEWART