READING: Psalm 106, John 1:4-14
“Yet He saved them because of His name, to make His power known.”
Psalm 106 is a clear reminder of the story of God’s people — and more specifically, of God’s grace. The psalm reflects a pattern common to the scriptures, and likely common to our lives:
- God is worthy of praise: He is “he is good; his faithful love endures forever” (Psa 106:1); at times, the people “believed his promises and sang his praise” (v. 12).
- God’s people forget Him and turn from Him: They “have done wrong and acted wickedly” (v. 6), did not “remember Your mighty acts of faithful love” (v. 7), “soon forgot His works” (v. 13), “tested God in the wilderness” (v. 14), “forgot God their Savior” (v. 21), “grumbled in their tents and did not listen to the Lord” (v. 25), and “served their idols” (v. 36).
- God judges them, reminding them that sin is costly: He “gave them what they asked for” (v. 15), flames “consumed the wicked” (v. 18), He “raised His hand against them with an oath that he would make them fall in the desert” (v. 26), His “anger burned against His people, and he abhorred his own inheritance” (v. 40).
- The people return to Him, but not always for long: They “soon forgot His works” (v. 13); He “rescued them many times, but they continued to rebel deliberately and were beaten down by their sin” (v. 43).
- God rescues His people NOT because they are worthy, but because of His supernatural lovingkindness and His desire to make His name known: “Yet He saved them because of His name, to make His power known” (v. 8); “When He heard their cry, He took note of their distress, remembered His covenant with them, and relented according to the riches of His faithful love” (vv. 44-45); “He is good; His faithful love endures forever” (v. 1).
- Even sinful people can cry out to Him for His glory: “Save us, Lord our God, and gather us from the nations, so that we may give thanks to your holy name and rejoice in your praise” (v. 47). We can echo that prayer only because we know that God’s love for us is everlasting; it far, far, far outlasts our love for Him.
- Review your walk with God, noting the negative and the positive times. Remember what you’ve forgotten . . .
- Thank God for His faithful love.
PRAYER: “God, I say with the psalmist, ‘Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Let all the people say, ‘Amen!’ Hallelujah!’”
TOMORROW’S READING: Matthew 1, Luke 1:1-2:38
*adapted from a 2015 devotion