Sing, O barren, thou that didst not bear; break forth into singing, and cry aloud, thou that didst not travail with child: for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife, saith the LORD.
Shall I remember my sins in heaven?
I. There is a recollection inevitable. The identity of persons will involve an identity of consciousness. Abraham is in heaven, for example; and he feels to be the same individual that was called out of Ur and made father of the Jewish people—not a totally distinct being, but the same being. What are the recollections which are inevitable? (1) "I was a sinner." Can I remember that God loved the world and gave His Son, and that the blessed Jesus shed His blood for sin, and lose sight of the fact that I was cleansed from sin by that precious blood—that I was saved by the infinite mercy of God? (2) "I was such a one on earth." That recollection surely is inevitable. Take Abraham. His recollections cannot be merely, "I was a patriarch," but, "I was such a patriarch." (3) "I was restored to God by such means and under such influences." This will be another recollection.
II. There is a remembrance of sins impossible. (1) By-and-bye memory will not be the faculty chiefly exercised and put forth. In heaven there will be no sadness, no solitude, no fear, no carefulness. Memory, therefore, will not be goaded as memory is now. Memory will have an inferior place. (2) The ruling idea, recollection, will not be the sins, the many sins, but the forgiving of those sins—the blotting out of those transgressions, so that the painful remembrance of sin will then be impossible. (3) Nothing in God's conduct will put sin forward. He tells you that He has cast your transgressions into the depths of the sea. (4) Within yourself there will be complete and conscious holiness. Your character will then be without spot or blemish, and you will know it. (5) You may have had companions here in iniquity, but you will have no unsaved companions in sin with you there. (6) You will be employed by-and-bye. Your employment will be all-absorbing, and it will be constant. How can a man think and dwell intently, and with commanding recollections, on the guilt that God has blotted out in such a scene as this? Why did Christ die, but that sin might be forgotten? For what did the Holy Spirit work, but that God's law might be written on the mind, and that both God and the sinner might remember iniquities no more.
S. Martin, Westminster Chapel Pulpit, 2nd series, No. 6.
References: Isaiah 54:5.—H. W. Beecher, Christian World Pulpit, vol. vi., p. 73, vol. xxiv., p. 42; Spurgeon, Morning by Morning, p. 170. Isaiah 54:6-13.—S. Cox, Expositions, 4th series, p. 44. Isaiah 54:7-9.—Spurgeon, My Sermon Notes: Ecclesiastes to Malachi, p. 253. Isaiah 54:7-10.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xxii., No. 1306. Isaiah 54:10.—A. Maclaren, Old Testament Outlines, p. 225. Isaiah 54:11.—Spurgeon, Evening by Evening, p. 352. Isaiah 54:11-13.—F. W. Farrar, The Fall of Man, p. 152. Isaiah 54:11-14.—J. Monro Gibson, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xxiv., p. 273. Isaiah 54:12.—Spurgeon, Evening by Evening, p. 350. Isaiah 54:13.— M. Dix, Sermons Doctrinal and Practical, p. 169; J. J. Goadby, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xvi., p. 414; Preacher's Monthly, vol. vii., p. 37. Isaiah 54:17.—Homiletic Quarterly, vol. iv., p. 538; C. C. Bartholomew, Sermons Chiefly Practical, p. 401; T. R. Stevenson, Christian World Pulpit, vol. iii., p. 244; Spurgeon, Morning by Morning, p. 310.
Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations: spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes;
For thou shalt break forth on the right hand and on the left; and thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles, and make the desolate cities to be inhabited.
Fear not; for thou shalt not be ashamed: neither be thou confounded; for thou shalt not be put to shame: for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more.
For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called.
For the LORD hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, and a wife of youth, when thou wast refused, saith thy God.
For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee.
In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the LORD thy Redeemer.
For this is as the waters of Noah unto me: for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth; so have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee, nor rebuke thee.
For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the LORD that hath mercy on thee.
O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colours, and lay thy foundations with sapphires.
And I will make thy windows of agates, and thy gates of carbuncles, and all thy borders of pleasant stones.
And all thy children shall be taught of the LORD; and great shall be the peace of thy children.
In righteousness shalt thou be established: thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt not fear: and from terror; for it shall not come near thee.
Behold, they shall surely gather together, but not by me: whosoever shall gather together against thee shall fall for thy sake.
Behold, I have created the smith that bloweth the coals in the fire, and that bringeth forth an instrument for his work; and I have created the waster to destroy.
No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.