08/10/17 Thankful

READING: Psalms 79-80, Romans 11:1-18

“We, Your people, the sheep of Your pasture, will thank You forever.”

Psalm 79:13

It’s a prayer that all of us should pray at some point. Our situation may be different – the Hebrews were dealing with the reality that Jerusalem and its temple had been destroyed – but the cry of their heart is the cry of ours as well: “Do not hold past sins against us; let Your compassion come to us quickly, for we have become weak” (Psalm 79:8). The Hebrews knew that their present-tense anguish was the result of their past sin, and all they could do was plead for the mercy of God. They needed His forgiveness, His willingness to blot out their sin. They could only trust that His compassion would trump their sin, and that He would forgive them and deliver them for the sake of His name among the nations.  

We, too, can only fall before God and plead for His mercy. We cannot rely on our goodness, for we have no goodness that allows us to stand before a holy God. We, like the Hebrews, have a history of rebellion. We sometimes make wrong choices today that result in consequences years down the road.  Even as believers, we struggle following God with our whole being. We too often follow a while, turn back to our idols, desperately need His intervention, and return to Him only because of His grace. We remain in His hands not because we are holding His hand, but because He is holding ours. And, He holds on to us not because of us, but so the nations will know His name. Our victories are a reflection of Him, not us.

The Hebrews did not deny their sinful past. They knew they needed God’s forgiveness, and they groaned under the weight of their struggle. Thus, they cried out to God, sought His forgiveness, and affirmed their commitment to declare His praises to the generations when He gave them victory. Likewise, we who have been forgiven and granted victory have great reason to echo the words of the Hebrews: ". . . we, Your people, the sheep of Your pasture, will thank You forever” (Psalm 79:13).

ACTION STEPS: 

  • Admit your sin, and praise God for His forgiving grace.
  • Thank Him, and then thank Him again.

PRAYER: “Lord, I have reason to thank You forever. Thank you.”

TOMORROW’S READING:  Psalms 81-83, Romans 11:19-36