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. THE ABUNDANCE OF GOD'S PARDONING MERCY IS EVINCED BY THE REMOVAL OF THE OBSTACLES TO ITS EXERCISE. It was not by annihilating — by scattering our iniquities in the regions of oblivion with no evidence of the Divine abhorrence — that the way is open for their remission But God laid upon His Son the iniquities of us all.
II. THE ABUNDANCE OF GOD'S PARDONING MERCY MAY BE ARGUED FROM HIS BENEVOLENCE. The goodness of God — i.e. His whole character — is intent on the promotion of the greatest good. When this end demands the punishment of sin, this goodness dictates it, and in this consists what we call justice. When this end is the pardon of the sinner, the same goodness dictates it, and in this consists mercy.
III. THE ABUNDANCE OF GOD'S PARDONING MERCY MAY BE EVINCED FROM THE RICHES OF HIS FORBEARANCE AND LONGSUFFERING. Consider —
1. The objects of the Divine forbearance; a world, our whole species in rebellion.
2. Its design; their repentance and salvation with eternal glory.
3. Its circumstances; how easy for Omnipotence to break the thread that holds us over the pit, and yet He spares us — He spares sinners, while He regards them with all the abhorrence that is due to sin — He spares them, while He can glorify Himself in their instant and eternal destruction — He spares them, when in the midst of great and repeated provocations, when, from the very patience of God, they derive only hardihood in rebellion — He spares them that He may use every possible means for their conversion and salvation. He comes to them in His Word and in His providence; by the chastisements and the bounties of His hand; by every moment's preservation; in the counsels and prayers and example of the pious; in visible displays of His eternal power and Godhead; by the heralds of the Cross, who warn them night and day with tears; in the opened gates of heaven, and the uncovered mouth of the pit; in full displays of the beauty and glory and sufficiency of an incarnate Saviour. Why these efforts to bring to repentance, if He has no mercy for the penitent?
(N. W. Taylor, 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.