Sins Forgiven and Forgotten

Psalm 32  •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 5
IN the thirty-second Psalm King David praises God’s forgiveness. He does so, not as a king, but as a man.
Whether kings or commoners, we all need God’s forgiveness, and we may all have it; but we can have it only as sinners. “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom Jehovah imputeth not iniquity.”
Transgression forgiven.
Sin covered.
Sin not reckoned.
Of transgressions all have been guilty. We have gone off from the straight line of righteousness—our feet have turned aside. Had we made but one wrong step in a long lifetime, our name would be-transgressor. Since no one who reads these pages can plead ignorance of God’s commands, and honestly declare that he has done all that God commanded, and that he has not done what God has forbidden, he is a transgressor. David had very grossly transgressed, and the evil he had done lay as a crushing burden upon his soul. He felt the weight of God’s anger upon him. He became truly repentant. Then he made a clean breast of his evil ways to God―he made a full and real confession, and God forgave him. “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven,” he cried. Oh! how blessed―how happy!
Sin is the root, of which transgressions are the fruits. We should not disobey God unless we loved sin. Sin has its seat in the heart; transgressions are expressed by words and ways. The law of the land does not punish a thief for wishing to steal, but for stealing or attempting to steal. But God’s law looks into our hearts and detects our sins there. “I had not known sin,” said one whose outward life was pure, “unless the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.” Man calls his fellow bad, who does bad things; God calls us what our hearts are. But for sin in all its sinfulness God has provided a covering! Not such a covering as man would suggest―one that would merely hide the deformity and leave it in its character still; no, the covering of God’s providing is the blood of His own Son, which atones for our sin, and yet declares, as nothing else can ever do, sin’s exceeding sinfulness.
In the tabernacle of God stood His throne―the symbol of His righteousness. On it was a mercy seat, where the blood of the offering for sin was sprinkled. This mercy seat signifies a cover, and its very name is bound up with the covering of atonement. The throne of God calls out, as it were, for the punishment of our sin; the blood upon the throne declares sin atoned for and the holiness of the throne magnified. Blessed is he whose sin is covered.
Yet more: “Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity.” We will suppose a man brought up before the judge, and that prior to his case being heard, the judge declares, “No wrong is laid to your charge!” The man would then be counted as righteous, so far as the particular offence he dreaded was concerned. God does not reckon any sin against the forgiven sinner, He counts him righteous. Then the believer can say, “My transgressions are forgiven; my sin is covered. God counts me, notwithstanding all I have done and all I am, as righteous.”
Now as we meditate upon this marvelous forgiveness, we may well praise God with all our fervor. “Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy all ye that are upright in heart” (ver. 1:1). Can there be more? Yes, there is more!
“Their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.”1 Man can forgive, God can alone forget the wrongs done against Him. His people will enter His presence, not only without a stain of sin upon them, but in the sense that God has banished their sins from His memory. “I can forgive, but I cannot forget,” said a monarch, as she pardoned an offender. The King of Kings can forgive and forget. It is very grand, very glorious. But it is true. When the father forgave the prodigal he had him clad in the best robe, and rendered fit for the high place of a son in his house. “I shall be content if I only can squeeze in on a back seat in heaven, behind the angels,” said one to us. No, dear friend, you will have the child’s place; the best place; the nearest place to your God and Father. God will not call up the memory of your sins in heaven, but you shall forever and forever praise the Redeemer by whose precious blood your sins are covered, and the holiness of God is glorified. Sins forgiven, sins forgotten. Such is our portion.