How many of us can claim to always have made good decisions, to have consistently been kind, thoughtful and considerate of other people, and to have honored God above ourselves? Obviously, that is a rhetorical question.
We fail. Regularly. Thank goodness God is faithful.
The Bible is the story of God’s work in and through the Jewish people (Old Testament)culminating in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and the beginning of the church (New Testament).
It is a story of consistent human failure overcome by the merciful faithfulness of God.
Psalm 106 is the sad story of Jewish disbelief, dissatisfaction, disloyalty and disobedience. From the exodus to the golden calf and further idolatry they were constantly rejecting God. Psalm 106 ends with prayers of “Save us, O Lord…” and “Praise be to the Lord…” In the end, God was faithful.
“Save us, O Lord” and “Praise the Lord” are two prayers that God probably hears often. They are short versions of our failure (Save us!) and God’s faithfulness (Praise God!).
After hundreds of years of the spiritual ups and downs of the kings of Judah, complete with plenty of those two prayers, and the continual downward trend of the kings of Israel, punctuated by strong warnings from several prophets, God finally let them face their chosen fate. Nebuchadnezzar trashed Jerusalem and the Jews went into exile. Save us!
God was faithful. About 70 years later, the Jews were given the right to go back to Jerusalem, to reestablish their temple, and to rebuild the wall around the city. There were no shortage of problems and failures during that time as well, but God got it done. The Jewish faith would survive, even thrive, to become the community into which Jesus Christ was born. Praise be to the Lord!
The New Testament brings the test of God’s faithfulness into each believer’s heart. The decisive battle in each human soul is between the powers of this dark world and the faithfulness of God. Every decision we make is informed by one or the other, and it is not always easy to tell them apart. Hopefully we can say Praise the Lord more often then we have to ask for God to save us, but I think he expects plenty of both.
We fail, but thank God he is faithful.
How have you experienced God’s faithfulness?
“Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us; if we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself.” 2 Timothy 2:11-13