No Bargaining Chip

Psalm 79: Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of thy name: and deliver us, and purge away our sins, for thy name’s sake.

When the psalmist cried out for God’s help in verse nine of Psalm 79, he had no bargaining chip. 

Israel had sinned.  They had left the path of righteousness.  They had followed false gods.

Those may seem like pretty innocuous or tame statements until you read through the historical events of the nation chronicled in Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles.  There you find the specifics of Israel’s sin, and the offenses were blatant – idol worship, all manners of spiritual sin, sexual sin, child sacrifice, murdered prophets – quite the mess.

The root cause of all of this, though, lay in Israel’s failure to follow the God of their salvation. They had chosen their own way over God’s.

Did everyone in Israel stray? No, there was always a remnant of faithful worshippers, but the downward spiral of the national culture was enough to carry the nation away from God’s protection.

Now, they faced bondage; they were caught in the traps they played with.

Now, they realized their need for God.

They had no bargaining chip based on their behavior, but they had the reputation and character of God. These are what the psalmist appeals to:

Psalm 79:9 Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of Thy name: and deliver us, and purge away our sins, for Thy name’s sake.

Our claim to grace is no different. 

It is not based on our works, or our goodness, or our status, or anything that we have done or could do.  We, like Israel, have no bargaining chip with God. We can’t promise to be better, do better.

But we can call on His name. His name.

Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

God honors His name. He honors His promises. His character is good and true.

II Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

If there is a problem, it is not with God; the problem lies in our failure to call on Him.

Call on Jesus.

Photo – Glacier National Park, Beth Mims


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