When some people say, “I will forgive you but I will not forget what you did,” they are not just expressing their inability to forget what happened; they don’t intend to forget. We may even want to remember so we can remind the person of how they offended us. We want to hold them hostage as long as we can. Fortunately, God is not like us. He made that clear to ancient Israel. We read in Isaiah 43 where God complained to His people that despite His gracious acts toward them, they had ignored Him and not worshiped Him sincerely. They had wearied Him with their sins. Yet despite their wickedness and forgetfulness, God expressed His willingness to forgive them and blot out their sins for His own sake. He would do it when and if they repented of their sins and turned from their wicked ways. God offered to forgive them because His Suffering Servant, the Messiah, would one day bear the penalty for their sin. We read later in Isaiah 53 that he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be made whole. He was whipped so we could be healed.” Isaiah said, “All of us, like sheep, have gone astray. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the LORD laid on him the sins of us all.” God’s offer to forgive and forget is real. He is prepared to wipe our sinful record clean. But it will only happen when we repent and request His forgiveness.
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