PSALM 106:43-46 – Many times he delivered them, but they were rebellious in their purposes and were brought low through their iniquity. Nevertheless, he looked upon their distress, when he heard their cry. For their sake he remembered his covenant, and relented according to the abundance of his steadfast love. He caused them to be pitied by all those who held them captive.
THEME OF THE DAY. THE WONDERFUL WORD “NEVERTHELESS”. Be honest. Sometimes we don’t treat people the way God treats us. Perhaps we run short on patience and let loose an unkind impulsive word of frustration to people in our lives upsetting us. Maybe we are slow to forgive someone who repeatedly hurt us. Or, in our relationships, we find a person not measuring up to what we expect of him and her by many failures. Such a situation moves us to feel like saying, “I have given you so many chances. I don’t have any more grace for you. Enough.”
There are many more examples of how we may respond and treat people completely opposite of God’s treatment of us. But today’s nugget is not a “spiritual beat-down” of how un-Christlike we may find ourselves treating others, even believers and those of our own households. Our focus is on how God treats us – always – despite our sinful attitudes and actions. In today’s scripture, the one word opening these truths of His always grace-filled treatment toward us is “nevertheless”.
In Psalm106, we find God’s people up and down, like us, in their obedience and allegiance to the Lord. We get an insight into their near constant need of God’s restoring grace. The simple opening in today’s scripture speaks much of this need – “Many times He delivered them.” Why did they need God’s deliverance “many times”? It’s obvious, right? They failed, again like us, many times. And God proved true to His promises and covenant but it didn’t take long to find His people drifting away from Him again – “But they were rebellious in their purposes and were brought low through their iniquity.” I sometimes ask myself, “How could these people of God forget the many times they received His restoring grace and quickly fall back into their selfish and sinful ways?” I don’t get too far in that looking at them before I look at myself saying, “Jim, how quickly you forget God’s grace in your life too!” But here comes the wonderful word “nevertheless” applied to God’s people of old, to me, and yes, even you forgetting child of God. And what follows after this wonderful world is a listing of God’s amazing acts of love and grace to His forgetful and rebellious people.
Despite our sins of forgetting and rebellion, notice how God handles us. I’ll just list how He thinks and acts based on what we see in today’s scripture and His treatment of His people of old. Please, ponder them, study them, and rejoice over them. Here we go . . . God takes notice of us despite our not taking notice of Him; He looked upon their distress; He gives us a listening ear in the times of our praying for restoration; when he heard their cry; He stays true to Himself, never going against His promises despite us not keeping ours to Him; for their sake He remembered His covenant; and finally, God never stops loving us and never giving us what we truly deserve by our sins of forgetfulness and rebellion; and (He) relented according to the abundance of his steadfast love. He caused them to be pitied by all those who held them captive.
The wonderful and liberating word “nevertheless”. From this day forth, don’t gloss over this word in our Bibles. It opens the treasure chest of God’s many undeserved riches He freely bestows upon us despite our many sins.
PRAYER: “Father, I praise You for Your enduring patience with Me.”
QUOTE: “Let the patience of God lead us to more appreciation for His grace and for the Person behind such grace.”