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Eurasia Blog Wednesday Devotion: His Steadfast Love Endures Forever

Israel crossing the red sea.

Israel crossing the Red Sea.

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever. Give thanks to the God of gods, for his steadfast love endures forever. Give thanks to the Lord of lords, for his steadfast love endures forever; to him who alone does great wonders, for his steadfast love endures forever; to him who by understanding made the heavens, for his steadfast love endures forever; to him who spread out the earth above the waters, for his steadfast love endures forever; to him who made the great lights, for his steadfast love endures forever; the sun to rule over the day, for his steadfast love endures forever; the moon and stars to rule over the night, for his steadfast love endures forever; to him who struck down the firstborn of Egypt, for his steadfast love endures forever; and brought Israel out from among them, for his steadfast love endures forever; with a strong hand and an outstretched arm, for his steadfast love endures forever; to him who divided the Red Sea in two, for his steadfast love endures forever; and made Israel pass through the midst of it, for his steadfast love endures forever; but overthrew Pharaoh and his host in the Red Sea, for his steadfast love endures forever; to him who led his people through the wilderness, for his steadfast love endures forever (Psalm 136:1-16 ESV).

During the time of Lent, we often focus in on the very solemn. We reflect on our sins, as it is right to do, and are brought to repentance by the Holy Spirit. Deep reflection and solemnity are proper for Lent, but so, too, is remembering the mighty acts of God.

As we stare our sinful deeds in the face — our jealousy, the fact that we’ve made a god of ourselves and our opinions, our repeated anger with our children and so much more — it can become easy to despair. It is easy to reflect so fully upon our sins as to become mired in sorrow over them and forget that there is more to this story. Even so, Psalm 136 reminds us that there is always more on which to reflect. Even as we reflect on our sins and our shortcomings, we can also reflect on God the Father and His great acts of old. As we read the story of the plagues on Egypt, as we recall God’s work in creating the world and all that is in it for us, as we recall how He lead his people out of slavery to Egypt, our vision opens up. We are reminded again and again by the Psalmist that God has proven through His acts and His deeds that His steadfast love endures forever.

Greater than all of the acts of old listed by Psalm 136 is the act of God to which we journey in this season of Lent. God showed His steadfast love and its eternal nature most clearly in sending His Son into the world as a man to live, to die and to rise. As Christ Jesus is lifted up upon that cross, we look on Him and can chorus with certainty: “The steadfast love of the Lord endures forever! See! There! See how He loves us!” Just as He delivered the Israelites from the hands of their enemies, so too He does so and more for us. Those sins upon which we reflect and which bring us to despair are not greater than the steadfast love of the Lord. He has made a way for our sins and our short-comings to be swallowed up and put away forever. Jesus takes them to the cross with Him and puts them to death. He proclaims to us: “You are forgiven. The steadfast love of the Lord endures forever!”

So during Lent there is solemnity and deep repentance. There is sorrow over sin and reflection. But there is also Promise and gift and proclamation: The steadfast love of the Lord endures forever in Christ Jesus who has died for us and for our sins!

Let Us Pray: Heavenly Father, we thank and praise You for Your steadfast love which endures forever; help us even as we repent of our sins to take comfort in the proclamation that Your love for us in Christ Jesus is steadfast and eternal, and wipes away our sins; through Your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

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