“For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” (Jeremiah 31:34)
I often leave home and forget something I need, like my lunch or my coffee (and yes, I need my coffee). Or I’ll walk into a room and completely forget why I am there. If I go to the grocery store for more than two items, I need a list, or I will forget something. Forgetfulness comes easily, and it is always accidental. We don’t try to forget stuff; we just do, and it’s frustrating.
This sort of frustrating, absent-minded forgetfulness raises a question: what does the Bible mean when it talks about God forgetting our sins? We know he is perfectly wise and knows everything, so how does He forget? He doesn’t do anything by accident. If He did, we would be in deep trouble.
The Bible tells us that God intentionally erases our sins. He blots them out (Acts 3:19). When the Bible tells us he will remove them “as far as the east is from the west” (Psalm 103:12), it means he will utterly remove them. So God’s forgetfulness is a promise that says to us, “because Jesus has paid for them already, I will never think about your sins again or hold them over your head, ever.”
Friends, we have a harder time forgetting our own sins than God does. We cling to them longer and view ourselves as marked by them. But if we trust Jesus, God doesn’t look at us and see our sins. He looks at us and sees the righteousness of His Son. He forgets our sins completely.
I originally wrote this post for my church, Immanuel Nashville, in our Daily Pulse email. If you want encouragement from God’s word delivered Monday thru Friday to your inbox, I encourage you to subscribe!