Isaiah 44:22, “I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee.”
Clouds are a gathering of moisture and vapors from the earth and sea. Clouds often block our view of the sun. Many times on a cloudy and rainy day individuals have longed to get a glimpse of the sun so they may enjoy it’s warmth and light. Sometimes clouds can simply block the sun’s light and cause shadows on earth. Other times a larger gathering of clouds can make for some dreary and rainy days. Often clouds can gather into a storm causing fear, anxiety and turmoil. Our study verse compares sins to clouds. Sins arise from the heart of man and affect our view of the Sun of Righteousness. He is there, but because of our sin we cannot see Him as clearly as our souls long. Our sins, as the clouds of the sky, can cast some dark shadows on our life, cause us to have some dreary and sad days, and even make for some storms that leave us afraid and troubled. These experiences are not unique with us, according to our study verse, the children of God in the Old Testament often sinned and experienced the same.
There are two ways that clouds are removed (“blotted out”) from being above our heads, by the wind blowing them away or by the sun breaking through and dispersing them. I’m amazed at the imagery presented to us in our study verse. Just as the wind and sun are able to remove the clouds, which prevent us from seeing the light of the sun clearly, from above our heads, the Holy Spirit (wind) and the Sun of Righteousness (Malachi 4:2, Jesus Christ the Eternal Son of God) are able to remove the clouds of sin that hinders us from the fellowship with God we so desperately need. The clouds of the sin of our lives are great, but they do not surpass the power and love of God’s mercy and grace.
Psalm 51:1, “Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.”
David was a man who was blessed by the Lord abundantly. Yet, David was still a sinner. David sinned when he committed adultery with another man’s wife. In his efforts to hide his sin, he had her husband murdered (see 2 Samuel chapter 11). David, in his actions, broke many of God’s Laws. He placed his own lusts before his responsibility to honor God (“Thou shalt have no other gods before me”). David failed to honor his father and mother by committing these shameful actions of sin (“Honor thy father and thy mother”). David, by a letter sent to Joab, was responsible for the death of Uriah (Thou shalt not kill). David broke God’s Law which said “Thou shalt not commit adultery.” David stole another man’s wife (Bathsheba; “Thou shalt not steal”). David’s sins were not committed beyond the eyes and knowledge of God and the Lord sent Nathan to reprove His servant. Immediately after Nathan’s reproof, David’s heart was smote within him. He turned to the Lord and spoke the words of Psalm 51. In this prayer of repentance, David begs the Lord forgive him that the clouds of his sins may be blotted out so he may be restored to the experience of feeling the warmth and light of the Sun (the Lord’s fellowship). In Psalm 51:12, David asks the Lord to “Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation;…”
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, each one of us have our own struggles with sin. Different, but at the same time having many things in common. The sins of our lives arise and cause the clouds to arise and hinder our view of the Lord. He is there, He always has been and always will be, but sin clouds our vision. Our study verse is one of encouragement. The Lord declares that our sin is not greater than His mercy and grace. God loves His little children and He is more than able, as the wind and sun cause the natural clouds to be blotted out, to remove the clouds of sin by forgiving us. My mind is stirred to remember the fourth verse of the hymn How Tedious and Tasteless the Hours, “Dear Lord, if indeed I am Thine. If Thou art my sun and my song, Say, why do I languish and pine, And why are my winters so long? Oh, drive these dark clouds from my sky; Thy soul-cheering presence restore; Or take me unto Thee on high, Where winter and clouds are no more.”
Dear child of grace, When we experience such forgiveness, we should do as He commands and “return” unto Him Who loves us with an unchangeable love, that we may enjoy the nearness of His fellowship. Amen!