PSALM 130:3-4 – If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness, that you may be feared.
THEME OF THE DAY. THE RICHES IN GOD’S WORD. Today’s scripture produces within us a wide range of thoughts, emotions, and ends with a logical conclusion. There is so much truth packed into these two verses. It truly is a treasure chest of spiritual riches. We are brought face-to-face with ourselves, the holiness of God, the mercy of God, the grace of God, and the goal of God in forgiving sinners. Let’s open each one of these precious truths for God’s glory and our good.
First, the truth of our thorough sinfulness – “If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities.” When we think of our sinfulness, more often, we immediately go to our actions, maybe our thoughts. We equate our sinfulness on what we do or don’t do. This is right, but incomplete. We do acts of sin, but our sinning doesn’t make us sinners. Our nature makes us sinners. We sin because we are born with a nature leading to our sinful actions. The word “iniquities” points to “depravity”, what we are, not what we do. And the more we understand this truth, the more precious will be our understanding of what God has done for us in Christ. He has given us a new heart, a new nature – “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, 4 by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire” (2 Peter 1:3-4).
A second nugget in the treasure chest of God’s riches revealed is His holiness – “If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand?” The answer is “no one.” Why? Absolute blazing purity cannot be in the presence of sin and sinners. And this “vision” of God’s holiness is what creates humility in us; a lowliness of heart and mind that puts us in a position to receive the riches of His grace and mercy in the forgiveness of our sins and iniquity.
The third and fourth abundant riches found in today’s scripture are God’s mercy and grace extended to sinners – “If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand?” The mercy of God is seen in the truth He doesn’t mark our iniquities. If He did we would be undone forever, but His mercy withholds His just counting of and wrath against our iniquities. And right on the heels of God’s mercy is the richness of His grace – “But with You there is forgiveness.” Here is shouting ground for the believer! Our greatest need in life, forgiveness, is freely given by the God of great grace.
We come now to the final rich truth from today’s scripture – the goal of being forgiven by God – “that you may be feared.” Forgiveness is not granted so we may remain the same, keep on sinning, and presume upon God’s grace. Not at all. God forgives so we will fear Him; a fear of affectionate reverence that makes us hate sin because it offends and breaks the heart of God. And when this is occurring, our joy is deepened, and God is most honored.
So many riches in God’s Word. Spend time in today’s treasure chest and enjoy them.
PRAYER: “Father, I praise You that in Your forgiveness of my sins, Your fear is deepened with me.”
QUOTE: “Forgiveness teaches us to fear God so that we may not continue in what He has forgiven – our sin.”