As this psalmist puts pen to paper and creates the eighth song in our Road Trip Playlist, he sets his sights on the LORD’s faithful love and abundant redemption, and what he’s calling on the people of God to remember is that the LORD is the One who will redeem them from all their sins. They will not have to pay the ultimate price for their disobedience and rebellion because God has freely chosen to intervene and “pick up the check,” if you will. This is an amazing reality they are told to hope for or to wait for because they are on their way to Jerusalem to offer sacrifices for their sins. Once they hear the “word of forgiveness” connected with the sacrifices they’ve offered, the “will redeem” becomes “has redeemed” (at least for another year until they repeat the process). As they make their way to Jerusalem, they reflect on their sinfulness and how much they need to hear, and even longer to hear, that their iniquities have been forgiven. This is what they hope for, and wait for, “in the LORD.” This is the main idea of these verses.

There is, however, another angle to redemption I want to explore for a minute and it is the LORD’s ability to redeem by offsetting the bad effects of the sins we commit. We know we are disciplined by the LORD when we sin (Hebrews 12:6), we know we aren’t always freed from reaping what we sow (Galatians 6:7) and from dealing with the consequences of our choices. But the LORD has this faithful love for us which moves Him to do even more than the amazing “more” He’s already done!

At the moment our heart receives God’s forgiveness and grace, at the time our soul realizes we won’t have to pay for our sins because of Christ’s sacrifice, there is abundant joy. But sometimes a lingering sadness accompanies that joy because we look around and realize the damage we have done – to ourselves, to those we love, sometimes even to total strangers. And that bums us out. We are very grateful for full forgiveness, and we worship God because of it, but we wonder if anything good could possibly come out of the mess we’ve made of things.

It’s here that this other aspect of redemption comes in. In His redeeming work, not only does God buy us back and make us His again, but He also starts a process of redeeming the sinful choices we make. I don’t know how He does it, but He works things out whereby He actually brings good from our bad, and He lets us experience it! (This is, of course, not an excuse to do more bad so that He can bring about more good! See Romans 6:1.) Maybe this is a part of the “grace upon grace” that John talks about in John 1:16?

What I’d like to encourage you with today are these two unbelievable realities – first, you have been saved by grace through faith in Christ, and in that, you have been redeemed from the penalty of sin. Second, the God who saved you also wants to redeem the circumstances your sins have created or may create. He can bring beauty from ashes, amazing futures from destructive pasts, kingdom usefulness from kingdom rebellion. Don’t believe me? Just you wait!

Scott Smith
Connections and Growth Pastor

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