But there is forgiveness with Thee. Psalm 130:4.
My first head is taken from the first word of the text: “But.” Here is A WHISPER OF HOPE. “If Thou, Lord, shouldst mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? But”—Oh, the sweet music of that little word! It seems to come in when the terrible drum of alarm is being beaten and the dreadful clarion of judgment is sounding forth! There is a pause with this word, “But there is forgiveness.”
It is a soft and gentle whisper from the lips of love: “But there is forgiveness.” This comes into the soul after a full confession of sin. When you have knelt down before God and acknowledged your transgressions and your shortcomings, and your heart is heavy, and your soul is ready to burst with inward anguish, then may you hear this gracious Word of God, “But there is forgiveness.” When, under a sense of sin, it seems as if the very fiends of hell were shrieking in your ears because of the awful doom which is drawing near—when you shall be driven from hope and from the presence of God, then, when you fall on your face in the terror of your soul because of your iniquity, then comes this sweet Word of God: “But there is forgiveness.”
It is all true which your conscience tells you. It is all true which the Word of God threatens concerning you! Then acknowledge that it is true and bow yourself in the dust before God—and then you shall hear in your soul, not only in your ears, but in your heart, this blessed Word of God, “But there is forgiveness.”
Some of us remember when we first heard this Word. When it came, it was to us like the clear shining after rain: “But there is forgiveness.” Some of us were, perhaps, for weeks and months without any knowledge of this blessed truth of God—pining for it, hungering for it—and when the Lord brought it home with power into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, oh, there was no music like it! Angels could not sing any tune so sweet as these Words of God spoken to our hearts by the Holy Spirit, “But there is forgiveness.”
Go your way, my hearer, and confess before God all your sin! I will not say what it has been. Perhaps you have lived for many years in the pursuit of sinful pleasures. Perhaps you have been dominated by your own will—you have tried to be lord and master, or queen and mistress of your own wicked spirit. And, perhaps, you have done evil as often as you could, and you are sensible of your sin, and your wounds bleed before God because of it. Well, then, in comes this whisper of hope: “But there is forgiveness.” God make it as sweet to you to hear it as it is to me to tell of it!
This whisper of hope sometimes comes to the soul by the Spirit of God as the result of observation. A man, full of sin, thinks to himself, “Well, but others, also, have been full of sin, yet they have been forgiven. What if I have been a blasphemer and injurious? Yet so was Saul of Tarsus and he had forgiveness from the Lord. What if I have been a thief? Yet so was he who hung upon the cross, and that day was with his Lord in Paradise. What if I have been a fallen woman, and have been defiled with sin? Yet there is forgiveness, for she was forgiven who was a sinner, and came and washed Christ’s feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head, loving much because she had much forgiven. Into whatever sin I may have fallen, I observe that others like I have been snatched from these horrible pits—and why should not I be?” Sweet, then, is this whisper of hope arising out of observation of others: “But there is forgiveness.” C H Spurgeon