“For their sake he remembered his covenant, and relented according to the abundance of his steadfast love.” – Psalm 106:45
Scripture reading: Psalm 106:1-48
Yesterday, we celebrated the goodness of God. But can we sing of God’s goodness when tragedy strikes? The writer of Psalm 106 thinks so. He writes as a victim of war. Nebuchadnezzar’s army forced his family from their home and marched them 600+ miles on foot to Babylon. That’s why he ends this psalm so urgently, “…gather us from among the nations” (47). He wants to go back home!
Are you homesick for better days? Is it realistic to say that God is good? Let’s listen to a war victim: “Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good”. And why does he think God is good? “…for his steadfast love endures forever!” (v.1).
At the end of Book 3 (Psalms 73-89) Ethan (another war victim) questions the Lord’s steadfast love (89:49). Egypt stripped the temple and controlled David’s throne. By the time we get to the end of Book 4 (Psalms 90-106) the circumstances are worse (106:47), but the mood is better. What has changed? The perspective.
The homesick captive uses his memory like a backup camera. He squints far into the past to see steadfast love. That love endures generations of rebellion – at the Red Sea, in the wilderness, even child sacrifices (106:6-43). His backup camera displays God’s goodness. View the last large scene in these words: “Nevertheless, he looked upon their distress, when he heard their cry. For their sake he remembered his covenant, and relented according to the abundance of his steadfast love” (44-45).
Suggestions for prayer
Rapidly read Psalm 106:6-43 to feel the bursts of cruelty against God. Slow down and repeat (2x) the lines that tell of God’s deliverance. Let the intervention of Moses (23) and Phineas (30) prompt thanksgiving for Jesus’ steadfast love on the cross. Plead for salvation using verses 4-5,47. Then give thanks with verses 1-3,48.
Rev. Ken Anema currently serves as an instructor for Divine Hope Reformed Bible Seminary which is a prison discipleship ministry structured as a school. Prior to that, he pastored the Messiah’s Independent Reformed Church in Holland, MI (1993-2014) after graduating from Mid-America Reformed Seminary. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.