“Blessed are they who maintain justice, who constantly do what is right.”
Lord Jesus, you love righteousness and justice. You who are pure and perfect, and you call us to your high and holy standards, promising us blessing when we keep them.
But sadly, we do not do this, for we are so self-centered, so self-willed, so self-serving. Just like the Israelites, “We have sinned, even as our fathers did; we have done wrong and acted wickedly…they gave no thought to your miracles; they did not remember your many kindnesses, and they rebelled…” (Ps 106:6,7).
In our crises, large and small, we, like the Israelites, forget your goodness, forget all the ways you have helped us in the past. Instead we get impatient and wallow in disappointment and self-pity. We look only at our own failed plans and lack of self-fulfillment, forgetting all that you have done in our lives: the protection, the provision, the prayers answered, the many positives.
But, Lord God, even when we don’t repent, you are patient and good to us, fulfilling your purpose for us, as you did with the children of Israel: “Yet he saved them for his name’s sake, to make his mighty power known” (Ps. 106:8).
We however, persist in our rebellious ways: “Then they despised the pleasant land…” (Ps 106:24a). You, Lord, lay before us what you know to be a pleasant possibility, like the country of Canaan; however we see only the problems, with giants in the land, the walled cities and danger—threats to our lust for self-fulfillment, our security, our comfort.
“They grumbled in their tents and did not obey the LORD” (Ps 106:25). We fail to praise you for the difficulties you allow in our lives. We choose not to see them as a call to action, to an adventure with you, to a chance to join you in your great redemptive plan for the universe. We see only our own inconvenience.
Therefore we grumble, bringing great dishonor to you—our unbelief, our rebellion against your Word and Character steal glory and praise and honor from you before the unseen hosts of demons and angels, from before the people around us, from our own eyes. We dishonor you for the sake of our own convenience!
Prayer: “Help us, Lord, to see the larger picture of your Greatness, your Glory, your Grace. Help us to view all that comes into our lives from your perspective, knowing that you, the Sovereign Lord, the King of Glory, the Ruler of the Universe have filtered every detail for our good, have given all the grace we need, and in every instance give us opportunity to lift your name on high. This is the purpose of our existence.
Help us, O Lord, to continually “offer the sacrifice of praise that we may honor you, and open the way that you may show us the salvation of the Lord” (Ps. 50:23). Amen.