Our psalmist takes us through Israel’s history. A tale from beginning to end of God’s hand on this little nation. Israel’s tale of faith.
This tale is MUCH abbreviated. It hits the high points in Israel’s history. The places where praise to God is surely due. There is only one place where anything but glory peeks through, but even in that event God’s hand is surely seen.
It would be nice if ALL our stories were so glossy. All the low points left out; the wandering in the desert, chasing after false gods, kings who had gone astray, and finally captivity again. These are just a few of the lowest points. I won’t even begin to try and cite them all.
Why do you think God left them all out, including the grumbling that led up to the high points? I believe His Spirit spoke an answer to me. Probably not the only answer but the one He wants to impress upon me today.
God left out the parts that were forgiven and under the blood. We see the full story of Israel in several other places as a lesson to us; often a cautionary tale. But here God wants to highlight His steadfast love for His people. He is holding them up as an example of a people He has invested His heart in. A people who He worked on their behalf. This tale is as much about His faithfulness as it is about their history. It is His story.
This ‘highlight reel’ reminds me of a parent bragging about their children. It also brings to mind achievements posted on the fridge. You don’t post the report card with Cs and Ds. You post the ones that shine with accomplishment. The ones that speak of your child’s hard work and good behavior. These are what your story focuses on.
Is your child perfect? No, at least not all the time. Does this story accurately represent your child’s lifetime? Maybe. Is your story the truth? Yes. It is a loving parent focusing on the important aspects of their child; the positive aspects that show their growth. How they got through that growth is between you and them. It is not necessarily needed for public consumption.
When the day comes and we stand before the Lord, He would be well within His rights to point out EVERY little flaw, sin, and misstep that we have made along the way. But He won’t. He will instead focus on the points where we have risen above our sins and shone in the light of His Son. As we wear the robes of righteousness provided by Jesus, only those peaks in our life where we were walking hand and hand with Him will show through. Everything else will be covered by the blood; Jesus’ blood. He remembers our sins no more when we confess them to Him. And He will NEVER bring them up again.
As surely as God’s Spirit inspired this psalmist to look past the sin, so does He when we give them to Him. Yes, Israel had consequences for their sin, both natural and God directed, but He LOVED them even then. He STILL does even though they continue to reject His Son. There will be eternal consequences on an individual basis if that sin stands. But for those who do accept God’s gift of Jesus, what a story He has to tell of them! “See My child, the one who loves Me with his whole heart? He is such a good boy. He is precious to me.”
The psalmist was also speaking to the people and reminding them of God’s faithfulness. Each point that shown through the blood was for man’s benefit. They got to clearly see God’s hand throughout the history of Israel. From protection while wandering as a single family, to preparations in advance for their time in Egypt, to favor on their behalf compared to all other nations, to God’s daily provision for their needs. Each peak drew a line from God’s heart to man’s life. Each demonstrating God’s steadfast love and work on their behalf; those He calls as His children.
God has a story just like this one for me. It hits my ‘highlights’ without delving into the valleys in between. Every time I’m tempted to ‘dip below the water line’ He pulls me back.
“What sin? I washed it ALL away a LONG time ago. Focus on the good things that we have walked together through. THOSE are the ones I put in your scrapbook.”
Father God, thank You for not beating me up again and again over my sins. You didn’t have to choose to purchase forgiveness for me. You could have washed Your hands of man at the first sign of sin. You chose instead to reach down into our very lives and demonstrate Your love. I know I’m not the only one You made this plan for but I’m MORE than grateful to be included in that number. I want my life to shine for You. I want it to shout of Your love and show that where I am today, right now, is by Your hand. Without that love I would probably not even be a footnote in history. But I KNOW that I matter to You! And that is enough for me.