A Character of Good
"Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of Your name; And deliver us and forgive our sins for Your name's sake." - Psalms 79:9 NASB As I read this passage, some very important observations arose. Yesterday, I posted some simple questions hoping that you might see those same things. 1. The psalmist, Asaph, speaks of salvation, but he doesn't have a cross in mind. Salvation to the people of Israel was a common term used in times of national trouble, moral failing, enslavement etc. 2. The reason for their outcry was because they knew God to be a savior. Over and over in scripture, God's character is revealed and each time we see a God who wants to save. 3. The cry for help is a summation of both the cry for deliverance and forgiveness. Help to Asaph wasn't just deliverance for Israel as if they had merely found themselves in captivity. God's help also meant forgiveness, implying that the psalmist knew their sin was the cause of pain. All too often, we as Christians, have a kind of amnesia concerning our own sin. Asking God to deliver us aka removing the consequences of our actions, as if we had done nothing wrong. Deliverance only comes when repentance is found. 4. The reason Asaph calls on God to forgive and deliver is not so the Israelites can be seen in a better light. Instead, the psalmist is concerned with God's image in the world. Asaph knows God is good, he knows that He is a helper, he knows that He is a savior. His call to God is for God to keep with His own character. And yet Asaph is not trying to manipulate God either. In conclusion, God helps us (delivers and forgives) based on His good character. He doesn't help because we pray the right words or play the right "religious" games. He helps us because it's who He is. Our faith is not rooted in a particular outcome (although we may hope for it) rather our faith is in a God with a particular character and that character is goodness.