July 2, 2013

Peace in the middle of a mess

Sometimes I wonder why God doesn’t save this person or that. A better question might be, “Why does He save anyone?” Today’s devotional verses give one answer.
Our fathers, when they were in Egypt, did not consider Your wondrous works; they did not remember the abundance of Your steadfast love, but rebelled by the sea, at the Red Sea. Yet He saved them for His name’s sake, that He might make known His mighty power. (Psalm 106:7–8)
I don’t know why the psalmist switched pronouns. I do know that these verses are all about God and His saving power. But just before I read them, my sister called from her flooded home, in tears and in joy. All is not lost. Her house is a mess, but her livelihood (art prints) appear to be okay, and there was a white dove on her driveway.

God does things like this for His own name’s sake. By His name we understand who He is, why He saves; He does it for Himself. The Bible is filled with stories, images and examples of the Bridegroom seeking a bride, of God himself desiring an intimate relationship with us. We don’t deserve His saving power. He does it for Himself.

His name is also about His authority. He has the absolute right and power to do what He pleases with us. He created us. We might declare our independence, yet God reigns and woos us. He says, “My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please” (Isaiah 46:10).

By His name we are given a real Person, His Son that we may understand Him, for in the Lord Jesus Christ is the whole name and authority of God. When He forgives sin, He does it for His name’s sake, for Christ’s sake. Jesus died for sinners, for all sin. To not forgive would mean He died in vain. God draws sinners to Himself, honoring the sacrifice of His Son.

God’s name stands for all that He is. It is salvation power, but also mercy. Again, we do not deserve His kindness nor can we do anything to change that. Our sin speaks against us, but God’s grace is the voice of His heart.
Do not remember against us our former iniquities; let your compassion come speedily to meet us, for we are brought very low. Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of your name; deliver us, and atone for our sins, for your name’s sake! (Psalm 79:8–9)
Salvation is an eternal matter, but the love and mercy of God is also made evident for His Bride as we walk this sin-cursed earth. He cares for us, helping us in our struggle against sin and against the forces that try to destroy us. To the flooded home of one of His children, He sends a dove, the emblem of His Holy Spirit and a reminder of His peace, a peace that is beyond comprehension, a peace that brings glory to His precious name.

No comments: