Evening, February 10, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening

“I have wiped out your transgressions like a thick cloud and your sins like a heavy mist. Return to Me, for I have redeemed you.” — Isaiah 44:22

Closely observe the instructive comparison: our sins are like a cloud. As clouds are of many shapes and shades, so are our transgressions. As clouds obscure the light of the sun, and darken the landscape beneath, so do our sins hide from us the light of the Lord’s face, and cause us to sit in the shadow of death. They are things born of earth, and rise from the miry places of our nature; and when collected so that their measure is full, they threaten us with storm and tempest. Unfortunately, unlike clouds, our sins yield us no friendly showers, but rather threaten to deluge us with a fiery flood of destruction. O you black clouds of sin, how can it be fair weather with our souls while you remain?

Let our joyful eye dwell upon the notable act of divine mercy—”blotting out.” God himself appears upon the scene, and in Godly gentleness, instead of manifesting his anger, reveals his grace: he at once and forever effectively removes the damage, not by blowing away the cloud, but by blotting it out from existence once for all. Against the justified man no sin remains; the great transaction of the cross has eternally removed his transgressions from him. On Calvary’s summit the great deed, by which the sin of all the chosen was forever put away, was completely and effectively performed.

In practice, let us obey the gracious command, “return to me.” Why should pardoned sinners live at a distance from their God? If we have been forgiven all our sins, let no legal fear withhold us from the boldest access to our Lord. Let backslidings be lamented, but let us not persevere in them. Desiring the greatest possible nearness of communion with the Lord, let us, in the power of the Holy Spirit, strive mightily to return to Him. O Lord, this night, restore us!