Suppose that a man rented a large field from a landowner and promised to pay a thousand dollars for the rental at the end of the year. The agreement is signed. If the harvest has been poor because of drought, pests, storms, poor fertilizing, etc., the man who rented the field may wish he had never signed the agreement. He may wish that the landowner take half of the harvest instead of demanding cash. However, the agreement had been signed and there is nothing to do but fulfill it.
If, however, the landowner should say that he would accept fifty bushels of corn instead of the money, the farmer's compliance would put an end to the agreement. If the owner should say he would accept twenty bushels of grain, that would end the contract. If the owner should say that he would release the man from his debt if he would sing a song, that ends the covenant. It is the owner who must be satisfied.
Because sin is a transgression of God's law (1 John 3:4), God must be satisfied in the matter of our sin. When one obeys God, God declares a man free from his sin (Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:14). This process is called justification (Romans 5:1, 9). God declares Himself fully satisfied because of what the Lord has done for us, which is called atonement or reconciliation (Romans 5:11; 11:15; 2 Corinthians 5:18-19). When we receive atonement or reconciliation, we express similar sentiments as the psalmist: "Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile" (Psalms 32:1-2). Thanks be to God for His unspeakable gift (Romans 6:23; 2 Corinthians 9:15)!
- The Gospel Teacher, 2/26/17