April 27, 2018 • Life for Leaders
Yet he saved them for his name’s sake,
to make his mighty power known.
Psalm 106 begins on a joyful note: “Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever” (106:1). But by verse 6 the mood changes dramatically: “We have sinned, even as our ancestors did; we have done wrong and acted wickedly.” The ancestors mentioned in verse 6 “gave no thought to [the LORD’s] miracles; they did not remember [his] many kindnesses, and they rebelled by the sea, the Red Sea” (106:7).
How did God respond to the wickedness of his people and to their failure to remember him? The answer comes in verse 8, “Yet he saved them for his name’s sake, to make his mighty power known.” In spite of the unfaithfulness of his people, God saved them, specifically through the miracle of parting the Red Sea (106:9).
Now, you might think that such a dramatic deliverance would have transformed God’s people. But that’s not the case, I’m sad to say. After God delivered them from the Egyptians, “[T]hey soon forgot what he had done and did not wait for his plan to unfold” (106:13). The next verses of Psalm 106 chronicle some of the ways the people of God rejected his deliverance. Verse 43 sums it all up: “Many times he delivered them, but they were bent on rebellion and they wasted away in their sin.”
So how did God respond after so many instances of his people rejecting him? Verse 44 echoes what we read earlier in verse 8, “Yet he took note of their distress when he heard their cry.” In Psalm 106:8, again in verse 44, and throughout the Bible, the Lord is the God of “yet.”
This is true for our lives, is it not? I can think of many times in my life when I have messed things up badly, when I have neglected God and forgotten his goodness to me. Time and again, God has taken the path of “yet,” acting mercifully, giving me far, far better than I deserve. Most of all, we know the God of “yet” through Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us, taking upon himself our sin and death so that we might receive his righteousness and life.
Something to Think About:
When have you experienced the “yet” of God’s grace?
How does God’s “yet” help us not to sin even more?
Something to Do:
As one who has experienced God’s “yet,” is there someone in your life with whom you can be the giver of grace, the one who acts according to “yet” rather than “ought”?
Gracious God, you are indeed the God of “yet.” When your people consistently rebelled against you, rejecting your words of encouragement and warning, and in effect rejecting you, you finally let them have what their actions deserved. They suffered the judgment you had warned them about for so long. Yet you were not done with them. Your “yet” prevailed as you continued to care for them.
And so you have done with me, time and time again. Your “yet” brought me to the point of confessing my sin to you and receiving you as my Savior and Lord. Your “yet” delivered me from so many messes I have made for myself. How I thank you for your mercy! How I thank you for not giving me what I deserve, but instead giving me something much better!
O Lord, may my gratitude for your “yet” motivate me to live in your ways and for your glory. May I never presume upon the “yet” of your grace, but instead live in the freedom of that grace. And may I share the “yet” I have received with others.
All praise be to you, God of “yet”! Amen.
Explore more at the Theology of Work Project online commentary:
God’s Character Is to Have Mercy on Everyone (Romans 9–11)
Dr. Mark D. Roberts is a Senior Strategist for Fuller’s Max De Pree Center for Leadership, where he focuses on the spiritual development and thriving of leaders. He is the principal writer of the daily devotional, Life for Leaders, and the founder of the De Pree Center’s Flourishing in the Third Third of Life Initiative. Previously, Mark was the Executive Director of the De Pree Center, the lead pastor of a church in Southern California, and the Senior Director of Laity Lodge in Texas. He has written eight books, dozens of articles, and over 2,500 devotions that help people discover the difference God makes in their daily life and leadership. With a Ph.D. in New Testament from Harvard, Mark teaches at Fuller Seminary, most recently in his D.Min. cohort on “Faith, Work, Economics, and Vocation.” Mark is married to Linda, a marriage and family counselor, spiritual director, and executive coach. Their two grown children are educators on the high school and college level.