Friday 14th December
It is when I feel convicted of my sinful state in the light of God’s Holiness that I am reminded of His faithfulness and His unconditional covenantal love towards me.
So often when we read scripture, we read it with judgemental eyes. For example, myself included, how often do we criticise the Israelites for their ignorance of all God did for them against the Egyptians? Their stubbornness caused a 4-week journey to the Promised Land to eventually take 40 years. Or how about when we read of the Pharisees in the New Testament, seeing all the miracles Jesus performed, yet still refusing to submit to His authority. Instead they thought it wise to have Him killed.
Yet if we allow scripture to be our mirror (James 1:23), then actually the finger points straight back at us. We are just as guilty as those who have gone before us. So often we see God’s goodness towards us yet we turn our backs and live life with ourselves in the drivers seat. Even the great Apostle Paul questioned his inner motives of doing what he didn’t want to do and not doing what he did want to do. Yet in all our rebellion, Gods love and mercy towards us outshines our foolish ways and draws us back to Him.
David the great Psalmist writes of this love. His words in verse 8 of this chapter are so strong and encouraging. He writes of the Lord that “He is gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger and great in mercy”. How encouraging are those words. When we look at these words, we can only but stand in awe of a God whose desire is not to condemn but to save, not pour out His rage but to pour His compassion and grace (that is not to say we have the right to do what we please). Verse 14 stands as a commitment to us, that God is for us and not against us. David says that “the Lord upholds all who fall, and raises those who are bowed down”. Even when we do fall, God’s love is there to pick us up and put us back on “the path of eternal life” (Psalm 139:24).
Yet how do we know of God’s faithfulness to us? Simply God’s works declare it. When we see of all that God has done not only in our physical lives but throughout creation, we are brought to our knees, knowing that there is a faithful God who shows Himself through His works. David knew of God’s faithfulness through the great stories of God’s works that had been passed down through generations. One of which would have probably been of the Israelites exodus from Egypt. He knew that even in their stubbornness and ignorance God was faithful and never left His people.
The Apostle Paul says in Romans 5:8 that Jesus showed His commitment to us His people by giving up His life, even whilst we were in our sins. He didn’t wait for us to become righteous all of sudden; He died for us while we were still sinners to become our righteousness. This is how we know of God’s faithfulness towards us and how when we are reminded of our sins, we can encourage ourselves with His love. I see Gods grace as a poker game. Every time we sin we place a bet, yet God always has the better hand, always raises our bet and wins every time.
“…Yet where sins abounded, Grace abounded much more.” (Romans 5:20)