Our God is truly, as the song puts it, an awesome God. We may consider God’s “awesomeness” from dozens of differing perspectives, but in this piece we want to consider His mercifulness which is obviously tied to His love. God is merciful, and we humans need to begin to praise Him without ceasing for His mercy for without God’s mercy no one will be saved.
To hear some people talk (even preach), God is out to get sinners. His holy indignation burns against wicked men, and God can’t wait to unleash His wrath against them on the last day.
Our text, however, reveals something different about God’s whole position on the wicked. God says that if the wicked turns away from all of his sins and keeps God’s statutes that he will live. God says that (note this well): All his transgressions which he has committed will not be remembered against him. All of them. Every last one. No matter how heinous, evil, disgusting, vicious, underhanded, abusive, destructive... No matter how many times. God’s door of mercy is wide open. Today, of course, this requires faith, genuine repentance, and obedience to the gospel of Christ.
Is God holding this position reluctantly? Is He being coerced against His will, or just trying to make Himself look good? Listen to these words: Do I have any pleasure in the death of the wicked...rather than that he should turn from his ways and live? God desires for people to repent and turn to Him for life. He has no pleasure in seeing people die in their sins and face the terrible consequences at the judgment. God is truly merciful.
Isn’t it time that the church started to see the wicked this way, too? Shouldn’t Christians be praying and working for the repentance of the wicked rather than looking for their death and everlasting destruction? God sent His Son to die on a tree so people might be saved. Jesus gave His life so we all might be forgiven and receive life. This must be the main message of the church. It is the gospel.