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…
I. WHY, IN SO FAR AS GOD'S NATURE DIFFERS FROM MAN'S, HE MAY BE SUPPOSED LESS LIKELY TO FORGIVE.
1. God knows us more thoroughly than any human being; He knows the worst of us, and He knows the great hidden element of character which is only occasionally betrayed.
2. Ha knows the motives, and knows that there are bad motives even for good actions.
3. He judges our sins by an infinitely higher standard than man's.
II. WHY GOD IS, JUST BECAUSE OF THAT DIFFERENCE, INFINITELY MORE LIKELY TO FORGIVE.
1. Among men the best and purest are not the severest censors and judges, for human goodness is the more merciful in proportion as it approaches nearer to perfection.
2. In God there is no fictional irascibility or resentment. Christ's life on earth was the story of a long, silent, immovable patience, of absolute lifelong superiority to personal feeling.
3. Although to justice or righteousness it is some satisfaction that a bad man should be miserable, yet it is another nobler and sweeter satisfaction that he should become a good man.
(J. Caird, D. D.)
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.