Blake Allen, Student Pastor, LHBC
I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds. 2 I will be glad and exult in you; I will sing praise to your name, O Most High. 3 When my enemies turn back, they stumble and perish before your presence. 4 For you have maintained my just cause; you have sat on the throne, giving righteous judgment. 5 You have rebuked the nations; you have made the wicked perish; you have blotted out their name forever and ever. 6 The enemy came to an end in everlasting ruins; their cities you rooted out; the very memory of them has perished. 7 But the Lord sits enthroned forever; he has established his throne for justice, 8 and he judges the world with righteousness; he judges the peoples with uprightness. 9 The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. 10 And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you.
As I reflect on Psalm 9, my mind immediately goes to the Jonah series we have been covering. I believe God is a just judge. I wonder if Jonah knew this after Jonah 4. When reading Psalm 9:10, I am reminded of the grace and mercy of our God. God knew the sins of Nineveh. He knew how wicked they were. They were known as the city of violence. If you turned on your news and saw nothing but stories of violence, that would be Nineveh. And like a parent grieving, watching their child make horrible decisions with their life, God too grieved for his creation–Nineveh. This is why he commissioned Jonah to go take the message of hope to them.
God, our just judge, offered them grace and forgiveness. The generation of Nineveh that repented in Jonah 3 were forgiven. God had not forsaken them (Psalm 9:10). The generation of Nineveh in the book of Nahum that did not repent were judged by God. They were blotted out. Jonah preferred to see the latter happen. God desires to see the former happen.
No matter how far from God we think we are, and no matter what we have done in our past, the is forgiveness for those who seek God. He offers us new mercies every morning. He loves us the same. Jesus bore our sins upon his shoulders and nailed them to a cross we deserved. He died for our freedom. And there is mercy for all who seek God.
I don’t know about you but I am relieved to know that I am not defined by my past. There is forgiveness and freedom at the cross. Will you come? At the cross, you are forgiven.
PRAYER FOR TODAY
Father, I am thankful for your mercy and grace. We don’t deserve your love but you freely give it. Help us to live in light of what you have done for us at the cross. Amen.
MEMORY VERSE OF THE WEEK:
But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay.