Dispatch One Hundred Eighty-Three

Posted: December 17, 2015 in Fortieth Bundle
Tags: , , ,

PSALM 130

Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord.
    Lord, hear my voice!
Let your ears be attentive
    to the voice of my supplications!

If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities,
    Lord, who could stand?
But there is forgiveness with you,
    so that you may be revered.

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
    and in his word I hope;
my soul waits for the Lord
    more than those who watch for the morning,
    more than those who watch for the morning.

O Israel, hope in the Lord!
    For with the Lord there is steadfast love,
    and with him is great power to redeem.
It is he who will redeem Israel
    from all its iniquities.

Although David was personally acquainted with King Saul’s corruption, he never asked God to eliminate him from the field, however much simpler and more peaceful that would have made his own life. He understood from experience that God desires faithfulness and full devotion to the purposes we’re called to, but that God also is enough aware of our internal conflicts and external challenges to not expect that we will consistently perform even to a fraction of our capacity. In other words, David knew God to be forgiving, always ready to pick up and try again, to move on and get past the past.

Because God forgives – not conditionally as the reward for genuine repentance, but unconditionally as an act of astounding and undeserved generosity – even old Saul couldn’t be dismissed as beyond hope of redemption. In fact, if we should push this line of thinking to its obvious conclusion, then we would need to restrain our moral impulse to judge the scoundrels and miscreants of the world as worthy only of hell.

God forgives because He perceives the deep and enduring worth in even the most wayward of us. Besides, as the psalmist says, if God should mark iniquities, then who could stand? It’s our tendency to excuse our own sins with a quick reference to the other side of the tracks where others are doing far worse and truly reprehensible things.

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