Psalm 130:3-4: “If you, O LORD, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness, that you may be feared.”

This morning I have been reflection on these words. These are words I have read many times before…but this time there was something new. Don’t you love how Scripture does that? A new joy…a new knowledge…a new insight into God’s character…but the same “old” message.

The psalmist begins with the depths of his despair, “Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD! O Lord, hear my voice! Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my pleas for mercy!”…Ever been there? You look at life and wonder how you got here. You look at the way things are and wish they had been different. You look at your choices and you are surprised by your own mistakes. You need grace…mercy…forgiveness. It doesn’t seem to be offered by anyone, so you turn to the Creator, the One who promises always to forgive in our repentance. But it seems He may have closed His ears…

Then the psalmist says that if God “marked iniquities” (kept track record), “Who could stand?”…a rhetorical question. No one could stand! We have all sinned, fallen short of God’s glory. We have failed our fellow man, we have failed ourselves, we have failed God. Truth is…no one needs to convince us of this, we know it in our souls.

Yet, the psalmist says, “But…” I love that little conjunction. That I could not stand before God if He marked my iniquities is not the end of the story…there’s more to come! “But with you there is forgiveness…”Sometimes its a little hard to understand, but God promises forgiveness…and He is the only source of that forgiveness (“with you there is forgiveness”).

Then came the new line: “that you may be feared.” My greatest fear for my kids is that they would make a mistake…come on, you know what I am talking about. We say that our kids have to learn to make mistakes, but we really would prefer they did not. When they do mess up, generally one parent wants a little grace and the other wants the hammer to drop…but did you notice what the psalmist said of God? That God’s grace and forgiveness led His child to fear Him? How is that possible? Think on that for a day and consider only one thing: What did the sinner’s forgiveness cost? Forgiveness was freely offered to me, but it cost God a lot, His Son. Maybe God’s forgiveness should cause us to fear God because it shows how far God is willing to go to make me holy? – Just a few ramblings this morning…

But if my parenting is to reflect God’s, what does this act by Him teach me about my fathering of our children?