“When I was in great need, he saved me. Be at rest… my soul, for the LORD has been good to you. You, O LORD, have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling.”Psalm 116:6-8
Isaiah 63 describes how the people of Israel grieved the Lord’s Spirit with their rebellion, even such that He turned and fought against them. But we also read of how He delivered them repeatedly. Perhaps you’ve seen an image of that tough love, a love which never gives up, in parents dealing with a cherished but rebellious child. It’s painful yet profound.
We would be foolish to think that our behavior escapes God’s notice or that our sins do not touch His heart. But it would also be a mistake to think that our sins can change His mind about loving us. He knew what we were from the beginning, and He loved us anyway. Our sin ultimately hurts us more than it hurts Him. But He chose to spare us the full measure of punishment that our sin warrants. When He saves, we can put our sin behind us. Finally, we have rest and peace.
That rest is no small thing. It was hard-fought and costly. As with His people Israel, we are given rest by the Spirit of the Lord so that in doing so He makes His name glorious (v. 14).
“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:29)