Friday, November 20, 2015

Christian Outdoor Object Lesson 4: How Many Drops to Forgiveness

Key Verse

"Jesus said to him, "I don't tell you until seven times, but, until seventy times seven." Matthew 18:22 WEB


There is a Hawk Nelson song called Drops in the Ocean. One of the lines in the chorus says, “If you could count the times I’d say you are forgiven It’s more than the drops in the ocean.” Pause a minute to ponder that. Now let's see if we can calculate how many drops are in the ocean. If we use the SI volume unit of one drop (gtt) then there are 75,708.2 drops in one gallon (US). Do you think you have sinned that many times in your life? Let's see if we can figure out how many gallons might be in one of the world’s oceans. The Arctic Ocean is the smallest of the world’s five oceans. It is about 10 times smaller than the Pacific Ocean which is the biggest.1 The Arctic Ocean has about 5 quintillion gallons (US). That is a 5 with 18 zeros after it (4.95 x 10^18) (18,750,000 km3).*

I can’t even imagine a number that big. It is beyond comprehension. I don’t know if I will, but I hope I don’t sin that many times in my life! But we haven’t even finished our calculation yet. If we multiply 4.95 x 10^18 (18,750,000 km3)* or 5 quintillion gallons by 75,708.2 drops per gallon than that equals… are you ready… 3.75 trevigintillion drops (3.75 x 10^23). I don’t even know how to say that word --trevigintillion! To illustrate this incomprehensible number, here is a simple example. If you sinned 1000 times per second, it would take you 118.8 million years to sin as many times as there are drops in the Arctic Ocean. What an incredible God we serve!

Peter asked Jesus in Matthew 18 how many times to forgive others. “Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy times seven.” Jesus meant that we should not keep track of how many times we forgive others, because God doesn’t either. The Bible promises that God will remember our sins no longer, and in Micah 7:19, “You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.”


Is there a person who you feel you have forgiven more times than they deserve?

Is there someone who may have forgiven you more times than you deserve?

What can we do when we feel like we cannot forgive someone another time?



Written by David F. Garner

Photo Credit: David F. Garner