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Psalm 143 is the seventh of the so-called “Penitential Psalm,” but like Psalm 6 – the first of this type, it never actually uses the word “sin.” Nevertheless, as you read the Psalm, it is clear enough that the trouble in which David finds himself is at least in part the result of his own failures. That is why he pleads, “Do not enter into judgment with your servant. For in your sight, no one living is righteous.” (Pastor Soper)
Do you find it interesting that in our last reading of Walk91 we come face to face with our strong tendency to sin. All through our readings, we are reminded “prone to wander, Lord I feel it, prone to leave the God I love.” (from the hymn “Come Thou Fount)
Sin enter the scene in our initial readings in Week 1 – Day 3, our sinfulness has been a part of our reading and our story. But along side our sin is God’s grace and faithfulness. In Week 1 – Day 3, God’s grace promised a remedy for our sin (Genesis 3:15). In today’s reading, God’s faithfulness and grace shine forth.
In Your faithfulness answer me, in Your righteousness! (Psalm 143:1)
For Your name's sake, O Lord, preserve my life! In Your righteousness bring my soul out of trouble! (Psalm 143:11)
Blessed are the people to whom such blessings fall! Blessed are the people whose God is the Lord! (Psalm 144:15)
The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. The Lord is good to all, and His mercy is over all that He has made. (Psalm 145:8-9)
God’s grace and faithfulness – Grace that is greater than our sin!
The reoccurring phrase of Psalm 136 is intriguing, “His steadfast love endures forever.” It appears 26 times.
Maybe you remember the old story, “Pete and Repeat went fishing. Pete fell out of the boat. Who was left? – Repeat.” “Pete and Repeat went fishing…”
We find the repetition of this story corny, but there is nothing corny about the repeating phrase of Psalm 136. His steadfast love – true and faithful – endures forever – and forever. Nothing can separate us from the love of God. There is nothing you can do that will make God love you more; there is nothing you can do that will make God love you less. His love is faithful because He is faithful. God’s love is constant because it is part of His character. God is love (1 John 4:8), and He loves us faithfully.
Never doubt His love. And if you begin to doubt His love repeat after me 26 times, “His steadfast love endures forever.”
5 Those who sow in tears
shall reap with shouts of joy!
6 He who goes out weeping,
bearing the seed for sowing,
shall come home with shouts of joy,
bringing his sheaves with him.
These verses from Psalm 126 are often used as a metaphor for evangelism. You and I have the “seed” of the gospel (remember the parable of the four soils?). As we speak to others about their need for Jesus, some of our efforts will bring forth fruit (souls). Like a harvester returning home from the field with his or her sheaves, we will be glad for the results God brings to us.
We plant the seed. He causes it to germinate. We rejoice in what He does.
Praise the Lord, all nations! Extol Him, all peoples! For great is His steadfast love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord! (Psalm 117)
Here we have a whole chapter from Scripture in under thirty words. While its content is brief, its message is huge! God’s unfailing love and His faithfulness – we could talk about either subject for days.
The Psalmist encourages the nations to extol the Lord for His love and His faithfulness. If God expects the nations to extol God's love and faithfulness, how much more should we do the same!
Now extol simply means to show praise to God or laud Him. Have you done that today? We can easily do so in worship at church, but we can laud Him in many ways. In prayer, in conversation, in our diaries or journals, to friends or coworkers – these and other creative ways speak of God’s love and faithfulness.
This is a collaboration for anyone going through Walk91 at Greensburg Alliance Church to share and encourage each other.