Healing and Pardon
Isaiah 33:24
And the inhabitant shall not say, I am sick: the people that dwell therein shall be forgiven their iniquity.

This whole chapter was a gracious message from God to a people who were in extremis. When the worst had come to the worst, He laid bare His arm and brought deliverance for His people. Is not this a general rule with God? The peril of Jerusalem serves as a dark background to bring out the brightness of my text.

I. THERE IS SUCH A THING AS PRESENT FORGIVENESS. There must be a present, conscious, enjoyable pardon of sin —

1. Else there would be no joy in the world for thoughtful minds.

2. Else the main motive and fountain of love would be dried up. Forgiveness begets gratitude, gratitude creates love, and love brings forth holiness.

3. Else we should always be in bondage through fear of death.

4. Else the whole system of grace would be a dead letter, and its glorious privileges would be mere shells without a kernel. Let us bend our thoughts to a consideration of this great blessing as it is treated of in this chapter.

(1) It is plainly promised in the text.

(2) If we wish to obtain this free pardon it will be granted in answer to prayer. Read the second verse: "O Lord, be gracious unto us."(3) Pardon is given in connection with the exaltation of God. Read the fifth verse: "The Lord is exalted." He does not grant this forgiveness until we begin to regognise that He is a great God and a Saviour. We must see that He is great in justice, and we must bow in penitence, and honour that justice.

(4) God grants pardon when men are humbled. See the seventh verse: "Their valiant ones shall cry without: the ambassadors of peace shall weep bitterly."(5) God grants this pardon also when the heart is searched. Read the fourteenth verse: "The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites. Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire?" When we begin to examine ourselves, to fear because of sin, and to turn from all hypocrisy, then the Lord will accept us.

(6) God will also pardon us when He is acknowledged to be our Ruler and Lord. Look at the twenty-second verse: "The Lord is our judge," &c.

(7) He will also forgive us when we put our trust in Him. Read the last clause of the twenty-second verse: "He will save us." Faith must look for salvation from the Lord alone, and then salvation will come to it.

II. WHEN SIN IS PARDONED, THE CONSEQUENCES OF SIN ARE ALSO REMOVED. Sin had made these people sick, as Isaiah saith in his first chapter — "The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint." But when iniquity is forgiven, then "the inhabitant shall not say, I am sick." Special chastisement is usually removed when any peculiar sin is forgiven. In the case of believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, if some of the temporal results of sin do not cease, yet it is only in appearance that they remain: or rather they remain for other purposes, benign and useful, and not as wrathful inflictions.


1. They have no need to say it when the Lord comes and dwells with them; for the Sun of Righteousness hath risen upon them with healing in His wings.

2. They shall have no thought of saying, "I am sick." He that feels the joy of pardoned sin forgets all his pains and griefs.

3. These people did not say they were sick, since they had a motive for not saying so. The three lepers who went out and divided the spoil did not say, "We are lepers": that was forgotten, and they entered the tents as if they had been in health. They went into one pavilion and ate and drank, and then they went into another. Men free from leprosy could not have made themselves more at home. They took away gold and silver and hid it; though they were lepers. So when the Lord pardons our sin there is a prey to be taken: riches of grace are at our disposal.

4. Pardoned people shall not say they are sick, for by a little anticipation they shall declare the very contrary. In a little time we shall be where the inhabitant shall never be sick again.

( C. H. Spurgeon.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: And the inhabitant shall not say, I am sick: the people that dwell therein shall be forgiven their iniquity.

WEB: The inhabitant won't say, "I am sick." The people who dwell therein will be forgiven their iniquity.

Forgiveness and Healing
Top of Page
Top of Page