Ps 86:5 – For thou, Lord, [art] good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.
One of the many attributes of our Lord that sets Him apart from all others is His willingness to forgive those who have sinned against Him. Not only is He just and righteous, but He is also a Lord who has supplied the payment needed to deliver His people from their sins.
Let’s take a few moments to study our Lord’s willingness to forgive our many sins.
Psalm 86:5 – For thou, Lord, [art] good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.
In our text, we can see four different traits that are exhibited in the Lord’s treatment of those who possess a Godly sorrow for their sins. These four include:
His Lordship –
The title “Lord” refers to God’s sovereign rule over all. Our God possesses the authority to control and rule over all of His creation. (Rom 9:20-21) He is the only One with the authority to forgive sins. (Matt 9:5-6) The ability to pay the penalty of the sins of others is an act only reserved for the Lord of all the universe. (Psa 130:4) The Lord paid the sin debt for the world through the giving of His life on the cross. (Eph 5:1-2) Only the life of the Lord has the needed value that it needed to be given only once to pay the price for the sins of millions. (Heb 10:10-13)
His goodness –
The word for “goodness” is translated many different ways in God’s Word. A few of those are “beautiful”, “precious”, “prosperous”, and “favorable”. As you can see from this sampling, the idea of “goodness” carries with it the idea of beneficial and desirable. One of the many reasons that our Lord is beneficial to us is because of His great forgiveness and mercy that He shows to His people. (Psa 103:1-5) The value of His mercies cannot be overemphasized. (Eph 2:4-9)
His readiness to forgive –
The phrase “ready to forgive” refers to the Lord’s willingness to forgive anyone who calls upon Him seeking forgiveness driven by a heart filled with Godly sorrow. (Neh 9:16-17) Our Lord’s willingness to forgive and His desire to pardon the many sins that we commit is clearly displayed in Psa 103:8-18. Our Lord does not get pleasure from seeing the lost die in their sins (Ezek 18:23, 18:32). Nor is He willing for His people to perish (2 Pet 3:9)
His plentiful mercy –
His tender loving kindness is overflowing and plenteous. His divine mercy can forgive the worst of our sins. (Eph 1:6-8, 1 Tim 1:13-14). There is no limit to His grace, kindness and forgiveness. (Roms 5:17-21)
To whom does the Lord grant this mercy, grace and forgiveness?… Our text tells us it is to “all them who call upon thee”.
What does it mean for a person to “call” upon the Lord? The word translated “call” refers to addressing someone by title. It is a picture of someone who recognizes a higher authority and then comes to Him wanting to communicate their need to them (Phils 2:5-11, Matt 11:28-30). When the Lord tells us to “call” upon Him, he is teaching us several things…
First of all, it tells us we must recognize the true Lord and Savior.
It is not enough for someone to come to “God” or to ask forgiveness of a nebulous being. We must recognize that a personal God does exist, He holds authority over us, and that He has promised to save us if we come to Him. (Hebs 11:6).
We must recognize that the Lord Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world and come to Him personally. (Acts 4:10-12, Matt 1:21, John 3:36, John 14:6, 1 Tim 2:5-6). To deny that the Lord Jesus is the ONLY Savior of the world is to deny the clear declaration of Scripture.
Secondly, to call upon Him teaches us that we must willfully turn from our sins and be willing to forsake our sins to obey Him.
We must desire to do His bidding and put Him first in our lives. (Isa 55:6-7, 1 Pet 2:20-25, Hebs 12:24-25, 1 Thess 1:9-10, Acts 14:15) The Lord invites us to turn to Him as a part of the gospel message (Acts 26:15-18)
Third, to call upon Him is teaching us that we must come to Him
We must see our need of salvation from sin; intending to communicate our request to Him; trusting that He will deliver us from our sins. (Isa 55:1-3, John 6:37, John 7:37, Rev 22:12-17, Psa 9:7-10, Isa 26:3-4)
This is the message of God’s forgiveness for our sins… this is the only way to receive divine forgiveness of our sins. May the Lord Jesus be glorified in this posting.