This morning I read a couple Psalms and an extended section in Hosea.
Much of what I read carried the theme of “watch out, judgment is coming” for the nation of Israel.
Reading of the coming judgment made parts of Psalm 95 stand out like bold-faced type:
Come, let us worship and bow down,
Let us kneel before the LORD our Maker.
For He is our God,
And we are the people of His pasture and the sheep of His hand.
Today, if you would hear His voice,
Do not harden your hearts, as at Meribah,
As in the day of Massah in the wilderness, (Ps. 95:6-8)
Coming judgment for the Israelites was to produce two responses in these verses: worship and soft hearts. Because God was God — not only their Maker, but also their Shepherd — they were to respond in humble, submissive, worship. And because He has spoken words of warning, they were to listen with soft (read: contrite and repentant) hearts. In other words, his words of wrath and coming judgment were a grace to the Israelites, designed for their good.
And that made me think, “how has God expressed his grace to me in this morning already, and how might that grace shape my response to him today?”
My answer, which will differ in specifics but not in principle from yours, went something like this:
- He has given me eyesight to read His Word.
- He has given me a mind to comprehend His Word.
- He has given me a heart to want to know and respond to His Word (what a wonder for a depraved man like me!)
- He has given me many warnings concerning sin (and I spent some time thinking about what those were) that are designed to soften and humble me so I might be able to receive His grace.
- He has further given me friends who are bold enough to ask questions of my life that help me to see my sin and delight in the God of grace who has forgiven all my sin.
- Thank you God for revealing my sin and enabling me to experience gracious forgiveness!
What grace have you received from God today? And how might that shape your responsiveness to Him?