"If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared." Psalm 130:3-4
Our days in this world are numbered, and we have come short of what God requires of us as His creatures. Hence, the words of Psalm 130:3: "If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?"
The answer, of course, is that none of us would stand. We have been weighed in the scales of God's righteous judgment and are found wanting. Our lives are filled with sin in our thoughts, desires, words and actions.
If the LORD were to mark our every iniquity in His books and keep a record of our every failure, who could stand in His judgment? Who is innocent of all sin? Who can stand before God and proclaim his own righteousness under the law?
Yet, that is what many plan to do -- to seek acceptance with God on the basis of their own lives and works. But God demands more -- He demands perfect obedience in thoughts, desires, words and deeds.
Even Christians cannot stand. Our hearts are divided. As believers, regenerated by the Holy Spirit, we may have the desire to love the LORD with all our heart, mind and soul, but we don't because we also still have our old sinful nature within us. We may desire to obey all God's commandments, but we fail. Knowing that God demands that we be holy as He is holy (cf. Lev. 19:2; Matt. 5:48), we can also easily become discouraged and even angry with God for demanding of us what we are not able to do.
God's law condemns us all. God's Word, however, also gives us comfort when it says in verse 4, "But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared."
The LORD God forgives sins! As the psalm promises, God sent His only-begotten Son to die for our sins and provide for us "plenteous redemption" (v. 7). Jesus Christ, God's Son, died not only for the sins of Israel; He made atonement for the sins of the whole world and then rose again from the dead (cf. Matt. 1:21; 1 John 2:1-2). We, therefore, hope in the LORD and trust in His mercy.
As believers, we have confidence that "as far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us" (Psalm 103:12). When we trust in Christ and His cross, we can rest assured that our God "hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace" (Eph. 1:6-7).
Have we come short? Are we found wanting in God's judgment? Yes, "all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Rom. 3:23). But, when we despair of our own righteousness and place our faith in Christ's perfect sacrifice for our sins, we also are "justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus" (Rom. 3:24).
Dear LORD God, we give You thanks that You have redeemed us in the Son and forgive us all our sins when we place our faith in Him. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.
[Devotion by Randy Moll. Scripture is quoted from the King James Version of the Bible. More of Moll's devotional writing may be freely read at https://goodshepherdrogers.org.]