I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee. — Isaiah 44:22
A couple weeks ago, I woke up early in the morning to the sound of rain. It made me smile: rainy days are the best. When I left my dorm and headed to class, the rain had slowed to a drizzle, but the sky was heavy with thick, dark clouds that bore the promise of a downpour. Later, I opened my Bible to look for verses about rain; as I flipped through the pages, I stumbled upon Isaiah 44:22!
I find the use of the words “transgressions” and “sins” interesting. Are they not the same thing? The both mean wickedness or evil. Upon some closer examination, however, we find that they are actually slightly different.
Sin can be defined as “missing the mark” or “falling short of the glory of God.” It is disobedience to God, wronging another person, failing to do the right thing, etc.
Transgression can be defined as “blatantly, willfully, or intentionally disobeying God.” It’s more than general wickedness; it is premeditated rebellion.
At salvation, however, God forgave us of both, once and for all! But, unfortunately, we still choose to sin against the One who has saved us. We struggle with our sin nature and fight with the Old Man. Flesh and Spirit war against each other, and we often allow the flesh to win. For us, sin and transgression are choices. Amazingly, God wants to forgive us and have fellowship once more. Even after we’ve wronged Him, He calls for us to come back and reconcile with Him. “Amazing love, how can it be?”
Now, when I see clouds in the sky, it brings Isaiah 44:22 to mind, and I ask myself, “Am I right with God right now?” It is a habit I’m still trying to develop, but already it has changed the way I live. It reminds me to live righteously and blamelessly in the sight of God so that I can continue to enjoy a life in His presence. When I am right with God, He hides all my sins behind the thick clouds of His love and forgiveness where neither of us can see them.
I challenge you to try it. Look to the sky, and examine your soul. As the hymn reads, “Is thy heart right with God?”