Words of Faith 12-20-18
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2018
Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL
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After Jesus had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem.
The journey up to Jerusalem from Jericho is not an easy one. The last five or six miles grow steeper. The Temple would no longer be in sight because of the closeness to the Mount of Olives, the final vista. The shimmering goal that had been seen at a distance would now be an image in the mind drawing pilgrims forward. So the Psalm is recited by those traveling closer to the place of God.
Psalm 130 A song of ascents.
Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord;
 O Lord, hear my voice.
Let your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy.
 If you, O Lord, kept a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand?
 But with you there is forgiveness; therefore you are feared.
 I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope.
 My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning.
 O Israel, put your hope in the Lord, for with the Lord is unfailing love and with him is full redemption.
 He himself will redeem Israel from all their sins.
There is a vista of forgiveness and redemption. We might think that this should come sooner in the journey, but the truth is that we often do not even know what needs confession and forgiveness until the Lord draws us a little closer to Him.
Without His forgiveness and redemption we are lost. Absolutely lost. So just starting out the journey seeking His strength is not enough. Just giving the "God thing" some casual inquiry is not enough. We need to come to a place of repentance and forgiveness of our sin where we claim for ourselves the redemption of the Lord, and the Lord claims us.
The cry for redemption is a cry for mercy. As we draw near to God we realize that we are entirely without excuse in regard to our personal sin. If the Lord kept the record, no one could stand. He does and no one can. It is only by His mercy that we approach at all. But there is forgiveness with the Lord. This is the Good News. He is the only one able to clear the record. He alone can expunge the sin. God has not abandoned us to our sin. He rescues us and forgives us.
The spiritual journey moves forward in waiting. The pilgrim plods forward while reflecting on our wait upon the Lord. We wait and hope in Him alone. Our hope is in His Word. His Word declares the forgiveness of the Lord. His Word declares the coming of the Lord. We hope in His Word. More than the watchmen in the morning wait upon the wall of a city for the dark night to be over; we wait with anticipation for mercy of the Lord and for His complete victory.
There is a cry for Israel to put her hope in the unfailing love of the Lord and a promise that He Himself will redeem Israel. As Jesus walked this road, He knew that He was coming to do exactly that.
Father God, forgive me of my sins according to Your unfailing love and mercy. Blot out my transgressions. Heal my iniquity. Redeem me from my sinful nature through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and draw me close to You. In Jesus' name.