Light of the World: Day Eight
Walking in Darkness
Read Psalm 106
Yesterday we looked at the glorious might of God that was displayed at Mount Sinai. Despite literally beholding his glory, that generation of Israelites did not obey God and failed to enter the Promised Land. What follows is a cyclical pattern of sin and disobedience in the Nation of Israel. Psalm 106 gives a brief overview of Israel’s history and subsequently, Israel’s failures.
Throughout Psalm 106 we see several sins that Israel committed: unbelief (vv. 7, 24), rebellion (vv. 7), forgot God and his works (vv. 7, 13, 21), discontent (vv. 13-15), jealousy (vv.16-18), idolatry (vv.19-20), disobedience (vv. 25, 34), apostasy (vv. 28-29), provocation (vv. 32-33), murder (vv. 38-40), and rebellion (v. 43). It’s clear to see from this summary of Israel’s history that Israel failed to obey over and over again. They committed grievous sins against a holy God time and time again. But while it’s one thing to call out the short comings of others, it’s an entirely different thing to admit one’s own faults. Yet that is exactly what the psalmist does:
Both we and our fathers have sinned; we have committed iniquity; we have done wickedness.
Did you catch that? “BOTH WE and our fathers have sinned; WE HAVE committed iniquity; WE HAVE done wickedness” (emphasis mine). The psalmist understands that it’s not just Israel that has fallen short of God’s holy standard, but it is himself, it is all of mankind, it is us.
The Lord looks down from heaven on the children of man, to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God. They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one.
Despite Israel’s failure to obey God, the psalm ends by praising him because of his steadfast love (v. 45). “Steadfast love” in the Hebrew is one word: hesed. This word is used 195 times throughout the Old Testament to express God’s stubborn, unrelenting loving kindness. When Israel was faithless, God was faithful.
At the end of the psalm, the psalmist cries out, “Save us, O LORD our God…” (v. 47). Praise be to God that because of his hesed, he never forgot his promise to send the Savior that the Israelites, and the world, needed. He was still sovereignly moving history along to send the one who would save us from our sin.
Action Point: One of the major problems with the Israelites is that they forgot all God had done for them in the past, which then caused them to fail to trust and obey him. Take a moment to write down some of the ways God has shown you his hesed. How does reflecting on God’s faithfulness and steadfast love in the past give you both hope and a resolve to obey him in the present?