Probably being overly simplistic this morning. Likely I’m just scratching the surface of the depths of something which, if I really got the half of it, would strike me dumb and put me facedown. But, as I’m continuing to read in Psalm 106 this morning, I read verse forty-six and what hits me is, “That’s the source of grace!!!”
Many times [the LORD] delivered them, but they were rebellious in their purposes and were brought low through their iniquity. Nevertheless, He looked upon their distress, when He heard their cry. For their sake He remembered His covenant, and relented according to the abundance of His steadfast love.
(Psalm 106:43-46 ESV)
The non-inspired heading for Psalm 106 in my bible says Give Thanks to the LORD, for He Is Good. But as I read it, it’s a brutal indictment of a chosen people constantly choosing to go off the rails. God is so good, because they are so bad.
From worshiping golden calves in the wilderness to having no faith in the promised land; from murmuring in their tents to disobeying His voice in the open; from yoking themselves to Baal, mixing with the nations, and serving their idols to sacrificing their sons and daughters to demons; this rebellious people angered the LORD. So much so that the songwriter’s inspired commentary is that “He abhorred His heritage” (v. 40).
Ya’ think? You’d think enough is enough. Let’s erase the slate. Let’s start over with another people of promise who just might appreciate the promise. Let’s go again and set apart a people as holy who just might try and actually be holy. Let’s be faithful to a people who just might be faithful in return.
But though they were “brought low through their iniquity”, our God looked on their distress, heard their cry, remembered His covenant, and “relented according to the abundance of His steadfast love.” That, my friends, is mercy undeserving, and grace overflowing. And it was according to the abundance of His steadfast love. That’s the source of grace!
God is love (1Jn. 4:8, 16). Not just the definition of love, but the Source. It’s not just an attribute, it is His essence. Is it too much to say that what God does, whatever He does, is born out of love? Steadfast love? Abundant steadfast love? I’m thinkin’.
For God so loved the world. And out of that love pours forth overflowing grace.
Not only did God relent concerning a rebellious people, but He purposed to redeem them as well. Not only did He think twice about removing them from before His presence, He doubled down and determined to provide a way to reconcile them and provide bold access into the holy of holies. Not only did He spare them, but He paid the price in order to save them. What unmerited favor! What grace! And this according to the abundance of His steadfast love.
O to be sure, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good. Abounding in grace. And this, according to the unfathomable depths of His steadfast love.
O what wondrous love! What amazing grace! To Him be all the glory!