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Praise the Lord! Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever! Who can utter the mighty deeds of the Lord, or declare all his praise?…Both we and our fathers have sinned; we have committed iniquity; we have done wickedness. Our fathers, when they were in Egypt, did not consider your wondrous works; they did not remember the abundance of your steadfast love, but rebelled by the sea, at the Red Sea. Yet he saved them for his name’s sake, that he might make known his mighty power… Nevertheless, he looked upon their distress, when he heard their cry. For their sake he remembered his covenant, and relented according to the abundance of his steadfast love. – Psalm 106: 1-2, 6-8, 44-45
When Pastor Cliff Jordan led the gathered Movement Church recently to turn to Psalm 106, we were reminded afresh of a remarkable truth – the faithfulness of God to his unfaithful people. [Podcast here].
The psalmist calls the people of God to remember his steadfast love even in the face of their murmuring, disobedience, and idolatry. Account after account, he writes of the history of Israel…not to focus on the sinfulness of humanity, as much as to display the faithfulness of God in delivering them.
We are no different than those of old. We are broken by our sinful nature and fall too often into that age-old pattern of rebellion, repentance, and restoration.
Praise God that he is ever willing to restore us to himself. How dreadful when we miss restoration because we refuse to reckon with our rebellion. I know my sinful heart too well. That is one of the many reasons I love God so much.
“Prone to wander Lord I feel it, prone to leave the God I love
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it, seal it for Thy courts above.”
This lyric is from the great old hymn written in 1757 by another wanderer – Robert Robinson. Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing. Like Psalm 106, it’s a great testament of a faithful God to an unfaithful people. I’ve written about this great old hymn before here.
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace
Streams of mercy never ceasing
Call for songs of loudest praise
Sung by flaming tongues above
Praise the mount I’m fixed upon it
Mount of Thy redeeming love
Hither by thy help I’m come
And I hope by Thy good pleasure
Safely to arrive at home
Wondering from the fold of God
He, to rescue me from danger
Interposed His precious blood
Let thy goodness like a fetter, bind my wandering heart to Thee
Prone to wander Lord I feel it, prone to leave the God I love
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it, seal it for Thy courts above.
Robinson wrote a fifth stanza that is often omitted. Here it is:
O that Day when freed from sinning,
I shall see thy lovely Face;
Clothed then in blood-washed Linnen [sic]
How I’ll sing thy sovereign grace;
Come, my Lord, no longer tarry,
Take my ransom’d Soul away;
Send thine Angels now to carry
Me to realms of endless Day.
Postscript: Don’t miss the video below with the Aeolians singing this great hymn accompanied by pipe organ. We don’t often get to hear this sort of musical feasting very often anymore. Glory! A glimpse of the worship of which we may be a part in Heaven…thanks to a faithful God who restores a repentant people.
Photo Credit: Cassmacenterprise