We are reading the Bible through together this year, using the Discipleship Journal Reading Plan published by the Navigators. You can download it free of charge from: https://www.navigators.org/resource/bible-reading-plans/
One of the wonderful joys of reading the Word through time and time again, is the discovery of new riches. Things you’ve read multiple times before stand out in new ways. The Holy Spirit continues to draw back the curtain in places you thought were well worn. Today’s reading in Psalm 65 is just such a place. And I would call your attention to just one verse – Psalm 65:3 (ESV) — “When iniquities prevail against me, you atone for our transgressions.”
Just let that sink in a bit. Read it slowly. Marinate. And take David’s assurance for your own.
For anyone who desires to follow Christ, grappling with our own sins pains us to the very core. We walk with Him for years, decades, and still, certain sinful passions arise in our hearts and minds and trip us up again. And the grief is profound. The heart is scarcely at times able to bear it when we fall. And then we are brought back to a place like this. We are reminded that grace is always greater than our sin. And that the blood of Jesus was not only sufficient for our justification – it remains sufficient when we fall.
Notice David’s words:
a. “When”, not “if.” WHEN iniquities prevail. The struggle with indwelling sin is never over in this life. It is sly, cunning and ruthless. Neither Satan nor our own sin care how deeply we are wounded or how much pain they cause. We WILL fail at times. We are not to plan for it in that sense nor excuse it because of its inevitability. At one time or another we will act in anger. We will lust. We will covet. We will be selfish, hard, impatient, faithless and neglectful of holy things. And when that happens, in those times when our iniquities prevail – even as they do so less and less in our growth – there is still and atonement. The SAME atonement as always – the shed blood of Jesus Christ.
b. “You atone for our transgression.” Who atones? He does. We don’t. No amount of penance is capable of removing the vile stain of guilt – only the blood of The Lamb – and that – slain by the Father’s own hand in wrath against sin. Our sin. Never His. Ours alone. But this He does. This He is faithful to do. This is the heritage of those found by faith in Christ – He atones for our every transgression. He does.
Oh wounded Christian – your sin is not the last word – His grace is. Perhaps even today you have fallen and you grieve and are in great pain over it. “There is a fountain, filled with blood, drawn from Immanuel’s veins. And sinners plunged beneath that flood – lose ALL their guilty stains.”