Throughout the first seven chapters of 1 Samuel we are confronted with many examples of unbelief or untrue beliefs about God’s character:
Hophni and Phineas, for example, believed that God is not just or he doesn’t see or he isn’t zealous for His glory or he doesn’t judge. (But God is just, he does see, he is zealous, and you do reap what you sow.)
Eli believed that God is not merciful, or He doesn’t relent when there is true repentance. (But God is merciful, and in many ways he seems to be irresponsibly so.)
And we could go on to talk about the Israelite elders, but this is the point: notice that in each of these cases, the reality of God’s character and nature is in no way affected by wrong beliefs about Himself: He remains unchanged and He acts according to His nature. So trust what He says about Himself. And this morning, in particular, I want to challenge you with an area of unbelief that it is easy to slip into: unbelief about God’s true and complete forgiveness of our sins when we have confessed them to Him.
Maybe it a sin you have committed many times before or a sin that is particularly grievous or heavy. Is it a sin with lots of shame attached to it? Is it a sin that can’t be hidden from the public eye? Is it so ugly and hateful that you can’t forgive yourself for it? Is it murder, adultery, betrayal, unbelief, anger, drunkenness, pride, unthankfulness or failing to remain in the joy of the Lord?
If you have confessed it on the basis of Christ’s finished work on the cross, then it is gone. Forgiven. Removed from you as far as the East is from the West. It is paid for and buried in the lowest parts of the sea. This is a reality that is not dependent on you. It seems too good to be true, but your sins are gone. Don’t keep trying to drag them up from the depths of the sea. Don’t be surprised when God wonders what you are talking about as you try to bear the guilt of a debt that has been paid. Finally, as a son of the King, you are not permitted to wallow in sin that has been covered—if you have, confess that too, and know that that sin is gone too. Lift your head: you will see you joyful heavenly Father running from a distance to embrace, love, and fight for you—His true son.