I happened by the grace of God upon Psalm 78 earlier this week. And it blew me away all over again. God’s great mercy. His incalculable love. It makes absolutely no sense.
Psalm 78 tells the story of God’s people. It describes God’s miracles and the great rescue of his children. It details God’s mighty acts on behalf of his people. He fed them. He protected them. He gave them everything he had ever promised.
“In spite of all this, they kept on sinning;
in spite of his wonders, they did not believe…
they would flatter him with their mouths,
lying to him with their tongues;
their hearts were not loyal to him,
they were not faithful to his covenant.” ~Psalm 78:32-37
It sounds so familiar, doesn’t it? It does to me. It sounds and feels way too familiar. In spite of God’s great gifts of sacrifice and salvation, Allan keeps on sinning; he lies to God with his tongue; his heart is not loyal to God; Allan is not faithful to God’s covenant.
Here comes the good part. Here comes the truly wonderful part.
“Yet God was merciful;
he forgave their iniquities and did not destroy them.
Time after time he restrained his anger
and did not stir up his full wrath.
He remembered that they were but flesh.” ~Psalm 78:38-39
Why?? It makes no sense. Because he loves me? Again, why?? Praise God for the inequities of his great love!
You know, we have a tendency in this age of grace to feel like God owes us his love and forgiveness. God knows I’m human. He made me. He knows I’m going to sin. Of course God loves me; that’s his job!
No, it’s not his job. It is an unimaginable, unexpected, unnecessary wonder of the universe! It’s absolutely amazing. Mind boggling. And to the eternal praise of our Father, it’s not impossible! Despite my sins, despite my rebellion and acts of denial and betrayal, despite my brokenness and stubbornness and pride, God does not destroy me. He is merciful. He forgives me. And, somehow, he still views me as righteous.
And, you too.