Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return to the LORD, and he will have mercy on him…
The certainty of their finding pardon was the tempting bait with which this ancient fisher of souls endeavoured to "catch men."
I. GOD DOES ABUNDANTLY PARDON. We will turn that truth over and over, and see it in many lights.
1. The pardon of God may well be abundant, for it wells up from an infinite fountain; "mercy, which endureth for ever."
2. The objects to which this pardon has been extended are abundant too. Well is it said, "He will abundantly pardon," for God has already pardoned sinners more numerous than can be estimated by human arithmetic.
3. His pardon is abundant when we consider the abundance of the sins which the love of God blots out.
(1) Sins of thought — rebellious thoughts, proud thoughts, blasphemous thoughts, atheistical thoughts, covetous thoughts, lustful thoughts, impatient thoughts, cruel thoughts, false thoughts, thoughts of ill memory, and dreams of an unholy future; what swarms are there l Moreover, the omission of thoughts which should have been, such as thoughts of repentance, gratitude, reverence, faith, and the like, these are equally numerous: with the double list my roll is written within and without with a hideous catalogue. As the gnats which swarm the air at eventide, so numerous are the transgressions of the mind.
(2) Sins of word. What words have vexed the pure and holy ear of God! Words against Himself, against His Son, against His law and Gospel, against our neighbour, against everything that is good and true! Words proud and hectoring, words defiant and obstinate, words untruthful, words lascivious, words of vanity, and words of wilful unbelief.
(3) Sins of deed, which in very truth are but the fruits which grow out of sins of thought.
(4) Perhaps the sins we do not know are more numerous than the sins we are conscious of. Conscience may not be properly enlightened, and hence many a thing may not seem to be sinful which really is so; but God's clear eye perceiveth everything that is obnoxious to His holy law. Innumerable sins are forgiven by one word from the lips of Divine love.
4. We can see the truth of this in the abundant sin of those sins which are pardoned. Did you ever find a spider's nest just when the young spiders have all come to life, it is a city of spiders; now, such is any one sin, it. is .a colony of iniquities, a living mass of offence. In addition to there being many sins in one sin, I want you to remember how much virus of sin we sometimes manage to stow await in a sin. A man has done wrong and smarted for it, yet he does the very same thing again wilfully, against his own conscience and against the warning he has received. A man will sometimes acknowledge what a fool he has been, and yet play the fool again. Some men sin for no motive whatever — for mere wantonness of sin.
5. The Lord "abundantly pardons," when we consider the abundant means of pardon which he has been ever pleased to provide for sinners.
6. The abundant ease of the terms of pardon. "Let the wicked forsake," etc., that is all! No man can expect to be forgiven if he goes on with his sin.
7. The abundance of this pardon may be seen in the fulness of it.
8. He doth "abundantly pardon," because of the abundant blessings which attend that pardon.
II. THE INFERENCES WHICH FLOW OUT OF ABUNDANT PARDON.
1. There is no room for anybody to despair.
2. There is a loud call to every one who has not repented to do so; for who would be so base as to offend so good, so kind a Lord?
3. If there is anybody in this house the text especially calls, it is the biggest sinner here; because there cannot be abundant pardon where there is not abundant sin.
4. For such a forgiving God we ought in return to have great love.
( C. H. Spurgeon.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.