God’s Forgiveness vs. Man’s Forgiveness

Hosea 11:9. “I will not execute the fierceness of Mine anger, I will not return to destroy Ephraim: for I am God, and not man; the Holy One in the midst of thee: and I will not enter into the city.”

The Living... — Hosea 11:9 (NKJV) - I will not execute the...

In this verse is the promise that, in spite of their repeated and outrageous sin, God would not totally destroy Israel. He would indeed punish them, but there would be a remnant spared that would eventually grow to build back what the Assyrians destroyed.

I don’t typically just copy what one of my sources offers, but I’m doing that today. Here is a pointed list of how God’s forgiveness differs from man’s, along with a quote from Charles Haddon Spurgeon. I couldn’t say it any better, or even as well, myself, What follows is taken from Blue Letter Bible.com, and is the work of David Guzik:

– Man cannot hold back his anger very long

– Man cannot bear with others when he is tired, stressed, or annoyed

– Man will not reconcile if the person who offended him is a person of bad character

– Man is often only willing to be reconciled if the offending party craves forgiveness and makes the first move

– Man is often only willing to be reconciled if the offending party will never again do the wrong

– Man, when he does reconcile, does not lift the former offender to place of high status and partnership

– Man, when he is wronged, does not bear all the penalty for the wrong done

– Man, when he attempts reconciliation, will not continue if he is rejected

– Man will not restore an offender without a period of probation

– Man will not love, adopt, honor, and associate with one who has wronged him

– Man will not trust someone who has formerly wronged them

i. What passes for forgiveness among men is nothing like the amazing forgiveness of God. “Suppose that someone had grievously offended any one of you, and that he asked your forgiveness, do you not think that you would probably say to him, ‘Well, yes, I forgive you; but I – I – I – cannot forget it’? Ah! dear friends, that is a sort of forgiveness with one leg chopped off, it is a lame forgiveness, and is not worth much” (Spurgeon).

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