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Reading:                                         Psalm 106                                                                 

 (Verses 40-48)

Therefore the LORD was angry with his people
and abhorred his inheritance.
He gave them into the hands of the nations,
and their foes ruled over them.
Their enemies oppressed them
and subjected them to their power.
Many times he delivered them,
but they were bent on rebellion
and they wasted away in their sin.
Yet he took note of their distress when he heard their cry;
for their sake he remembered his covenant
and out of his great love he relented.
He caused all who held them captive to show them mercy.

Save us, LORD our God, and gather us from the nations,
that we may give thanks to your holy name and glory in your praise.

Praise be to the LORD, the God of Israel,
from everlasting to everlasting.

Let all the people say, “Amen!”

Praise the LORD (NIV).

Reflection

Have you ever tried to drive in a crooked nail? You are asking for trouble if you make the attempt. If the nail has even a slight bend in it, it will either buckle or be misdirected as it enters the wood. Over the years I have hammered home a lot of nails. And only straight nails stay true.

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Water lapping at the river’s edge — photo by David Kitz

Today’s final reading from Psalm 106 reminds me of bent nails. The psalmist laments the corrupt ways of the nation of Israel despite the LORD’s mercy and patience. Many times he delivered them, but they were bent on rebellion and they wasted away in their sin.

Many people are like bent nails. Despite many blows they refuse to run true. They are bent on rebellion and they waste away in their sin. Their troubles are self-inflicted, but rather than acknowledge their errors, they blame God or others for their circumstances. Repentance or self-correction never enters their mind.

But… But God remains merciful. Yet he took note of their distress when he heard their cry; for their sake he remembered his covenant and out of his great love he relented.

Why would God have mercy on bent nails? Maybe it has something to do with the bent nails that held Jesus, His son, in place on a wooden cross. That’s where mercy flowed down over this bent nail.

Response: Father God, I give up on understanding your mercy and grace. It’s beyond comprehension. Thank you for loving me despite my sinful bent. Your love is amazing. Thank you, Jesus. Amen.

Your Turn: Is rebellion part of your nature? Can we self-correct or do we need God’s help?