And I will forgive their wickedness, and I will never again remember their sins.~Jeremiah 31:34 NLT
Things began slipping away . . . things I didn’t want to lose. But what happens when God forgets?
Memory. An interesting thing. When I was young, I had no trouble memorizing—anything, or a lot of things. Even in my twenties—while in college with a professor we called the “grocery list” professor because of the long list of items he made us memorize for tests—I sailed through the class with no problem, earning an A with ease.
Then it happened. In my late thirties, people’s names started to escape me. Then other things. My wife became my memory board—until she developed a brain tumor and struggled with remembering herself. Now, as my age progresses toward retirement, I exercise my mind in numerous ways, hoping my ability to remember will hang around a little longer.
I discovered recently that age isn’t the only thing that affects remembering and forgetting. While attending a training conference for teachers, I decided to take a class on technology, taught by a gentleman my age. Since I teach middle schoolers, I thought I might pick up some new technology ideas I could use in the classroom.
I did, but I also discovered why my middle schoolers couldn’t seem to retain anything. The rapid advance of technology, which makes knowledge available at our fingertips, has shortened the short-term capabilities of our younger generation. They struggle to memorize—or don’t even try—because they don’t have to. If they want to know something, they google it.
While most things I don’t want to forget, some things I do want God to forget: my sins, in particular. And according to Jeremiah, He will when I ask Him to forgive me. How God can forget when the Bible pictures Him as omniscient (all-knowing), I don’t understand, nor can I explain. The best I can say is He chooses to forget. For me, age takes care of forgetting. For others, it might be busyness or brain damage. With God, doing so is a choice.
But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.~1 John 1:9 NLT
God wiping our sin slate clean bears importance. If He didn’t, He would still hold us accountable. That would bring His punishment—presently and eternally. But because of what His Son accomplished on Calvary’s cross, God can clothe us in Christ’s righteousness when we come to Him for forgiveness. This involves His forgetting our sins. If He didn’t choose to forget, He couldn’t clothe us this way.
We no longer fear God’s condemnation when we stand in this wonderful position. Instead, he loves us and has accepted us into His family, with all the fringe benefits. His forgetting our sins should prompt us to love others and to do good for them as God has done for us. It should also lead us to stand in daily appreciation to our loving heavenly Father.
Has God forgotten your sins?
Father God, I thank You for forgetting my sins and clothing me in the righteousness of Your Son. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Copyright 2022: When God Forgets: Martin Wiles: All Rights Reserved