Does He Forgive?
“From there you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him, if you search for Him with all your heart and all your soul. When you are in distress and all these things have befallen you, at the end of days, you will return to the Lord your God, and hearken to His voice. For the Lord your God is a merciful God, He will not abandon you nor destroy you, and He will not forget the covenant of your forefathers that he swore to them.” (Deuteronomy 4:29-31).
“As for the wicked man, if he repents from all his sins that he committed, and he observes all My decrees and practices justice and righteousness, he shall surely live, he shall not die. All his transgressions that he committed will not be remembered against him; he shall live because of the righteousness that he did. Do I desire at all the death of the wicked man? – the word of the Lord God. Is it not rather his return from his ways, that he might live?” (Ezekiel 18:21-23).
“Now you, Son of Man, say to the house of Israel, thus have you spoken saying; “Since our sins and iniquities are upon us and we are wasting away because of them, how can we live?” Say to them: “As I live – the word of the Lord God – [I swear] that I do not desire the death of the wicked one, but rather that the wicked one return from his way, that he may live. Repent, repent from your evil ways! Why should you die, O House of Israel?” (Ezekiel 33:10,11).
“He has not treated us according to our sins, nor repaid us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens is above the earth, has His kindness overwhelmed those who fear Him. As far as east is from west, has He distanced our transgressions from us. As a Father is merciful towards His children, so has the Lord shown mercy to those who fear Him. For He knew our nature, He is mindful that we are dust. Frail man, his days are like grass; like a sprout of the field, so he sprouts. When a wind passes over it, it is gone, and its place recognizes it no more. But the kindness of the Lord is forever and ever upon those who fear Him, and His righteousness is upon children’s children, to those who keep His covenant, and to those who remember His commandments to fulfill them.” (Psalm 103:10-18).
The prophets assured us of God’s forgiveness when we turn away from our sins. How then can we accept the claim that “… without the shedding of blood there is no remission from sin” (Hebrews 9:22)? This dark teaching is openly refuted by the words of the Living God.
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Yisroel C. Blumenthal