Thursday, January 24, 2013

Day Twenty-Four: Infinity

The WORD of the Day:

"The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.  He will not always chide us, nor will he keep his anger forever.  He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us." 
--Psalm 103:8-12

Let Me Give You a Lift:

Infinity is a hard word to grasp. Man's most brilliant scientists and mathematicians have difficulty describing it, and poets only do by simile.  That kind of poetic simile is precisely what the psalmist was trying to convey in today's Word. King David wrote Psalm 103, and the Bible describes David as a "man after [God's] own heart.

Now let's be clear: David was far from perfect. He committed adultery with another man's wife, and when he found out the woman was pregnant he had her husband killed in battle to cover it up.  These are the biggest--though not the only--ways in which David displeased the Lord.  But then, perfection is not what God meant when he said that David shared His heart. We get a glimpse of what God meant from another of David's Psalms, in which he said:

I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you.”

There it is. David's Psalms are filled with praise for the wondrous things he was able to do on this earth. But here's the thing--David understood that every last one of those great works belonged to God. God his counselor, God his peace, God his protector, God his Lord. David gave himself completely to God, and through him God did wondrous things for His people. God even sent His son into this world through David's lineage. 

But circle back for a moment to David's imperfections. The most heinous ones are recorded in the Bible, although I am sure there were others; he was human after all. I think the reason that the "big" sins were recorded is to show us that God is not looking for perfection in His people. God is looking for the right heart, willing to hear God's will and rely on Him. 

David was grieved to his core when he disappointed God. There are many poems filled with sorrow and lamentation from David over his sins.  But in every instance, David grieved his failings, asked God's forgiveness, and then continued moving forward. David understood the very thing he tried to put into words in Psalm 103 above: the infinity of God's love and forgiveness.  

God has no limits; that is why we can be imperfect, and fail, and do the wrong thing but still please Him in the end.  It is our willingness to pick ourselves up and try again, leaning on Him to help us be the beautiful beings He made us to be, that makes us people after God's own heart. 

Give it a Listen:
Today's song is by Casting Crowns, and it's called “East to West.” The song is taken from the verse above, and talks about how we can get very discouraged by how often we fall, until remember that we are allowed unlimited chances to get back up again. The imagery here is beautiful: "Jesus you know just how far the east is from the west...from one scarred hand to the other."

This version of the song is live, and the band offers a speaking introduction. The song starts at :35.

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