“Can a virgin forget her ornaments, or a bride her attire? Yet My people have forgotten Me days without number (Jeremiah 2:32).”
It was a Thursday morning, the last day of February, 2002. George W. Bush was early in his second year in the oval office. Tom Brady and the Patriots were still basking in their first Super Bowl victory. The average cost for a gallon of gas nationally was $1.11. Also on that day, in Concord, North Carolina, a warrant was issued for the arrest of James Myers. Meyers had rented a VHS video from J&J’s Video but had neglected to return it.
J&J’s isn’t in business today. In fact you’d be hard pressed to find a VHS video rental store and many today couldn’t operate a VHS player as the medium has faded from its popularity and gone the way of the dinosaur. However, one morning late in March 2016, Meyers was taking his daughter to school when he was pulled over by Concord PD for a tail light that was out. He was subsequently hand cuffed and taken to the magistrate’s office.1 He only vaguely remembers renting the movie that got him in trouble. A misdemeanor he committed fourteen years ago that even the folks at J&J’s had likely forgotten had come back to greatly vex Myers.
Many have gone about life in this same fashion. Forgetting their youthful indiscretions they believe that they went unrecorded and there is no record of their past failings (Psalm 10:11) and after all they are a “good person (Mark 10:18, Romans 3:10).” They are not mindful that one day all accounts must be settled (Matthew 18:23-25, 25:19). Whether one’s debts be large or small they are not forgotten nor are they missed from the record (Hebrews 4:13).
Some observed their infractions but quickly looked away and forgot (James 1:24). Others went and settled their accounts and had their debts forgiven but forgot and reverted back to their scofflaw habits (2 Peter 1:9). A few even made pledges to God but soon forgot (Numbers 30:2, Psalm 76:11).
God has a perfect memory with one exception. For those who do not forget Him, He chooses to forget all of their past failings large and small. In fact He describes this in such detail we should not miss the message – God erases our sins and will never bring them up again. Hezekiah praised God for putting his sins behind His back (Isaiah 38:17) meaning that they were in the past and no longer before Him. Our sins are removed as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12). For those who enjoy the blessings of the New Covenant, God has promised He will forgive our sins and remember them no longer (Jeremiah 31:34).
God not only rewinds the tape on our previous record He promises to keep our account clean (1 John 1:7-9). Do you have any spots on your account that you have forgotten to clear up?
“Who is a God like You, pardoning iniquity and passing over the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He does not retain His anger forever, because He delights in mercy. He will again have compassion on us, and will subdue our iniquities. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea (Micah 7:18-19).”