Scripture: Psalm 119:153 Look on my misery and rescue me, for I do not forget your law. 154 Plead my cause and redeem me; give me life according to your promise. 155 Salvation is far from the wicked, for they do not seek your statutes. 156 Great is your mercy, O Lord; give me life according to your justice. 157 Many are my persecutors and my adversaries, yet I do not swerve from your decrees. 158 I look at the faithless with disgust, because they do not keep your commands. 159 Consider how I love your precepts; preserve my life according to your steadfast love. 160 The sum of your word is truth; and every one of your righteous ordinances endures forever.
Observation: There was a covenant between the psalmist and the Lord God. A covenant is a form of promise in which each party has obligations and receives benefits. The psalmist had an obligation to follow the will and ways of God as stipulated in the law of Moses (which began with 10 commandments and grew from there). In return, the psalmist expected protection and blessings from God. God had an obligation to protect and bless his people who followed his precepts, and in return he received a people who worshipped him and through whom he could reveal his power and lordship over all creation.
The problem with this first covenant is that people always fell short of their obligations to God – because of sin. Sin, our human propensity to rebel against God, always got in the way of righteousness. This is why Jesus came to give us a new covenant – a covenant not based in obedience to the law, but based in salvation through faith.
Application: There are days when I do reasonably well in following the ways and statues of God. But other days… not so much. I know I’m not alone in this. If my own faithfulness to God determined God’s faithfulness to me, I would be a nervous wreck. That said, I’m eternally grateful that God sent his son Jesus to bridge the chasm between my sin and God’s holiness. Jesus shed his blood to pay the price for sin forever. Mine and yours. His sacrifice, our righteousness. That, my friends, is called “grace”.
Prayer: Thank you Lord for the new covenant in Jesus’ blood. His sacrifice is THE supreme act of love for the salvation of all who believe. Give us grace that our lives might reflect your lordship over us. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.