I have swept away your sins like a cloud. I have scattered your offences like the morning mist. Oh, return to me, for I have paid the price to set you free.
Isaiah is like a garden of unconditional love. Flowers bloom in every corner, sharing the colors of freedom from guilt and shame. It's all about forgiveness. Over and over again we are told that the past is the past and the future is filled with NEW days.... not days rehashed with the same discouragement.
So why is Isaiah such a garden? Perhaps because, eventhough our heads know the father forgives us (through believing in Jesus) sometimes it's hard to simply forgive ourselves.
I love our Father's poetry.... 'swept away like clouds' and 'scattered like mist.' He makes it sound oh so light and easy. But the reality is that our salvation cost God the humiliation and death of His son, making His choice of words very gracious. He paints an 'accessible' picture of redemption. It's blown and swept away, past present and future, it is finished.
'Oh, return to me'. I hear God like a forlorn lover. It's not begging but it sounds close to pleading. It's strong because He wants us to return to places of peace, where we will forgive ourselves and others. Sometimes we need reminders of why it's unreasonable or illogical to stay in our grief, so He says, 'for I've paid the price to set you free.' In other words- why should we postpone our own restoration when the Lord has seen fit to purchase it for us.
There's a command in this verse to return to the Lord, but not necessarily because we ran completely away. Perhaps this 'return' is from standing outside the throne room. Outside His grace. Outside clinging to guilt and shame. Return to His presence for our mistakes have been swept away like clouds.