Suppose you stood face-to-face before God and in his hand he held a record of every sin you that you committed? Not a pleasant thought! If this did happen, you would be immediately condemned by the holiness of God. All of your sinful thoughts, actions, and intentions would scream your guilt across the universe. This is something so awful that no one would survive the encounter.
We cannot truly contemplate what it means to worship God unless we can first grasp what it means to be guilty before him. The Psalmist had exactly these feelings as he approached Jerusalem for worship. Here are his thoughts from one of the Psalms of Ascent.
If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities,
O Lord, who could stand?
But with you there is forgiveness,
that you may be feared. Psalm 130:3-4
He was confronted by two powerful realities that resonated deeply in his soul. The first was his guilt before God. He knew he could not hide his sin before the Lord of Creation. The second was the wonderful, overwhelming truth that his sins were forgiven. He understood what the Old Testament rituals of sacrifice and corporate worship were all about. The mighty God had forgiven his sins. He knew that apart from God’s forgiveness, going up to Jerusalem to worship was a farce, and exercise in futility. He was literally blown away by God’s goodness. This awesome act of God meant that God truly was One to be feared. His lovingkindness, his special love was a precious gift.
Pastor Stephen Yuilee, in his book, Longing for Home, puts it this way:
“As a result, we enjoy the benefits of the cross as his forgiveness supersedes our sinfulness, and righteousness supersedes our filthiness. From a deep sense of awe and reverence, we fear him. We seek to do what pleases him and avoid what displeases him. In other words, we see to walk in his ways. All that to say, God’s forgiveness is transformative. It causes us to fear him. We fear to lose one look of his love, one word of his kindness, one touch of his tenderness. “Great love,” says John Owen, “springs out of great forgiveness.”
Psalm 130 is just one of the 15 Psalms of Ascent found in the book of Psalms. Pastor Yuilee has given you and the church of Christ a labor of love by examining each of these 15 Psalms in Longing for Home. This book will enhance your ability to fully grasp the wonder of what it means to worship God.
Shepherd Press is grateful to publish this volume for you. We are offering Longing for Home at special 20% discount to introduce the book to you. Just click on the image at the top of there post of the one below to take advantage special sale pricing.