Tuesday, May 31, 2016


"O Lord, You showed favor to Your land;
You restored the captivity of Jacob.
You forgave the iniquity of Your people;
You covered all their sin.
You withdrew all Your fury;
You turned away from Your burning anger.
Restore us, O God of our salvation,
And cause Your indignation to cease....
Will You not Yourself revive us again,
That your people may rejoice in You?
Show us Your lovingkindness, O Lord,
And grant us Your salvation."
(verses 1-4, 6-7)
"The church was here in a deluge; above were cloud, below were waves; everything was dark and dismal.  The church is like Noah in the ark, between life and death, between hope and fear; being so...Here is the dove sent forth in prayer.  The petitions are against sin and wrath and for mercy and grace." (Matthew Henry)

This is agreed that it is written after the people have returned from captivity from Babylon.  So what now?  Here are some of Adam Clarke's quotes mingled with my thoughts...
"Thou hast forgiven the iniquity. Thou hast borne, or carried away the iniquity: an allusion to the ceremony of the scape goat.  This is the picture of Christ when He suffered and was crucified outside the city of Jerusalem.
"Thou hast covered all their sins.  As Thou hast freely forgiven it: its offensiveness and abominable nature no longer appear." 
"Thou hast taken away, "Thou hast gathered up all Thy wrath."  This carries on the metaphor in the second verse: "Thou hast collected all Thy wrath, and carried it away with all our iniquities."

If you think about it for a minute, would we want a hero who was not wrathful against wrong?  Could there even be such a thing?  Would we want a hero who had no fury over evil?  He would just be a  weakling in tights.  Of course God has wrath, has fury over sin.  He HATES sin.  Captivity happens when we slide back into the clutches of sin.  When He redeems us, restores us, it is with the warning not to return to the vomit of sin.  After all, it took the life of His only begotten.  That is how seriously God takes sin.
So after He saves us from the burning building of destruction, He must revive us with the mouth to mouth of resuscitation, the breath of God. 

"O Lord, revive Your work in the midst of the years,
In the midst of the years make it known;
In wrath remember mercy."
Habakkuk 3:2

"We have long had the sentence of death in ourselves; and have feared an utter extinction...'Show us Thy mercy' Blot out all our sins.  'And grant us Thy salvation.' Give us such a complete deliverance as is worthy of Thy majesty and mercy to bestow!"
(Adam Clarke)

Blotting out our sin is not God's handkerchief on our sweaty brow. 
It is His laundry bleaching out the blood stain that our sin caused. 
This is His willing desire towards us because of His lovingkindness. 

He has gone completely under to wash away our sins.

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