Friday, November 28, 2014

You Deserve Worse

He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. -Psalm 103:10

How hateful we should think someone (much less a friend) who came to us in time of pain or sorrow to declare that we deserved worse of God.

That God exacts of us less than our guilt actually deserves.

I would immediately "unfriend (to use the current vernacular)" such a person. Wouldn't you? 

Brother Billy, in preaching through this section of Job, stated that he found no translation for the name of Job's friend, Zophar, but was of the opinion that the name meant, "jerk."

And that might be the kindest response to one speaking such hateful and inappropriate words instead of words of comfort to a friend in need.

Yet that Word which we receive as authoritative and truthful in all its parts contains such words, as well as many words of comfort.

It is true that I deserve worse. That I am a daily recipient of God's mercy as well as His grace.

I sing of the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart.

I walk in the crisp, clear morning air and meditate on the beauties of what God has made.

I marvel at the love of a woman who must be modeling the love of Christ as she forgives and bears with and cherishes me in spite of my many faults.

I wonder, along with Scrooge, at the happiness welling up within my heart and mutter with him: "I don't deserve to be so happy...but I can't help it!"

I read Psalm 130:3 and ponder the question: if the LORD should keep an account of our iniquities, who indeed could stand?

Of all the Psalms, Psalm 103 is easily my favorite.

It calls me to remembrance of the things I have mentioned and reminds me of a God whose love is higher than the height of the measureless heavens above the earth.

Who has cast my sins as far from me as the east is from the west.

Wayne Watson has put it like this: "Grace keeps giving me things I don't deserve; mercy keeps withholding things I do."

Praise the LORD, o my soul, and all that is within me, praise His holy name.

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