Reading in Isaiah this morning continues to take me back to my roots, rather, to my Rock. As the Lord God, through Isaiah, calls His disciplined people back to myself, I’m reminded of His call to me some 40+ years ago.
Though for a “brief moment” God had deserted His covenant people (Isa. 54:6-7) in order to bring them to their senses, He had never forsaken them. In fact, the manner in which they had been “cast off” would pale in comparison to the compassion with which they would be brought back.
And so, in Isaiah 55, God through His prophet, pleads to a people thirsty for redemption, reconciliation, and rest, to come. To come to the waters that satisfy the deepest thirst. And to come buy and eat food which restores the neediest soul. That which they could not afford, yet which could be bought “without money and without price”–purchased, instead, by faith.
Come, says the LORD. Listen to Me and delight yourselves in rich food. Incline your ear, that your soul might live. Seek the LORD, call upon Him, return to Him.
The Spirit spoke the same words to me 40 years ago. Not audibly. Not with such clarity, nor if they had been, could I have really understood them nor their vast implications. Nevertheless, with groanings that cannot be uttered, the Spirit wooed me to the Father through the Son. And I was abundantly pardoned.
“Seek the LORD while He may be found; call upon Him while He is near; let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, that He may have compassion on him, and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.”
(Isaiah 55:6-7 ESV)
Abundantly pardoned. That’s what I’m chewing on this morning. That for those who hear His invitation and respond in faith, they are abundantly pardoned. That I have been abundantly pardoned.
Abundantly. Looks like the word has the sense of multiplying, of doing much in respect of something, to increase or enlarge greatly. That the collateral effect of the LORD’s pardon goes far beyond just being forgiven. Entails much more than could have been imagined than simply avoiding just punishment. Had a holy God’s pardon only erased the great debt owed by a sinning people, it would be more than enough to evoke praise for eternity. But my God pardons abundantly.
Not only rescued from sin’s unavoidable consequences, but adopted by God as sons and daughter, and made joint-heirs with the Son of God, Jesus the Christ. Our debt not only removed, but an inheritance–imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven–granted.
Not only permitted to reside in His presence for eternity, but invited to eat at His table–in a place Jesus is, even now, preparing for us. Until that day, not just cleansed of sin, but credited with the righteousness of the spotless, sinless Lamb of God. Robed in garments fit for a king, the King of Kings. Clothed in the perfection of Another, the One who was in every respect been tempted as we are, yet without sin..
Kept by the Spirit, the One who raised Jesus from the dead, our Seal and Guarantee of the inheritance to come.
Blessed now with every blessing in heavenly places. Soon to have that blessing enlarged when faith gives way to sight.
How pardoned are we? Abundantly pardoned!
In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace, which He lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight.
(Ephesians 1:7-8 ESV)
Pardoned according to the riches of His grace . . . overflowing grace . . . abundant grace. Lavished upon us in accordance with His wisdom and insight– with thoughts that are not our thoughts and ways that are not our ways.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.”
(Isaiah 55:9 ESV)
Yes, Lord, they are higher. Exceedingly higher. Abundantly higher.
To You be the glory, now and forevermore!