If You, O Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? But with You there is forgiveness, that You may be feared. Psalm 130:3-4
Compared to our national debt, 65,000 isn't a very big number.
On the other hand, when you realize that a 42-year-old woman from Rotterdam called her ex-boyfriend that many times in one year, well, that's a lot.
My calculations say that would be almost eight phone calls an hour, 24 hours a day, every day for an entire year. When the lady was arrested for being a stalker, she said, "He and I have a relationship and I don't think that number of calls is excessive."
He says they don't have a relationship.
But back to that 65,000 number.
I imagine the fellow being called probably didn't mind when his phone rang the first few times. But when the day's number hit ten -- or 50 -- I think he might have been peeved. By the time the phone had gone off the 170th time he was probably frustrated beyond belief. It is impossible for me to imagine how he must have felt in the seventh or eighth month of the woman's barrage.
All of this got me wondering.
How many times a day do you think the Lord forgives our sins? Now I know there are times when we are pretty good -- usually when we're sleeping or under an anesthetic. On the other hand, our waking hours probably more than make up for our short breaks from transgressing.
How many times a day do we sin? How many times a day does the Lord forgive? I don't know the number, but it's a lot.
This is why the passage from the book of Psalms is so very significant. Living in the grace of God which comes from the Messiah, the psalmist is confident the Lord doesn't mark our iniquities. The Lord isn't making a list, checking it twice, trying to find out who's naughty or nice.
He already knows: we're all naughty.
No, the Lord -- because of the forgiveness won for us upon Calvary's cross -- doesn't keep a record of iniquities. Because of Jesus' sacrifice, He forgives.
He forgives a lot ... and because He does we can stand before Him innocent.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I give thanks You have saved me. Because of Your Son's innocent suffering and death, I am forgiven. Now I pray I may do my best to minimize my sinning and maximize my thanksgiving. Let my life be a witness to my appreciation for Your abundant grace and mercy. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries