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Reading:                                         Psalm 136

(Verses 17-26)

to him who struck down great kings,
His love endures forever.
and killed mighty kings—
His love endures forever.
Sihon king of the Amorites
His love endures forever.
and Og king of Bashan—
His love endures forever.
and gave their land as an inheritance,
His love endures forever.
an inheritance to his servant Israel.
His love endures forever.

He remembered us in our low estate
His love endures forever.
and freed us from our enemies.
His love endures forever.
He gives food to every creature.
His love endures forever.

Give thanks to the God of heaven.
His love endures forever (NIV).

Reflection

In recent months I have transitioned from attending an established church to involvement in a new church plant. In many respects the change has been refreshing. This new church has a clear focus on reaching the lost in our city, specifically those who are trapped in addictions. Almost weekly new converts are coming forward to put their trust in Christ. The church itself is a place of transition, as deadly habits are broken, and the healing power of Jesus is applied to long festering inner wounds.

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Jesus said, “I am the gate” (John 10:9)  — photo by David Kitz

So how does this connect with our reading from Psalm 136? In his description of Israel, the psalmist makes this statement: He remembered us in our low estate… and freed us from our enemies.

We serve a God who rescues us at our lowest point, in our low estate. In our foolish pride, we would never turn to God. But when we hit bottom—when there is no way forward, put up—then we turn to the Lord. You see, Christ has been patiently waiting for us to acknowledge our need. But Jesus doesn’t rescue the proud. He doesn’t save those who see no need for salvation. He only comes to the humble—those who admit they need a lift from the hole they find themselves in.

Sadly, there are many who sit in fine churches that have never discovered their low estate. Actually, they have become experts at hiding it. We all have a secret addiction to sin. Even St. Paul wrote, “For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing” (Romans 7:19). The only one who can turn us around is Jesus, our Savior. See Romans 7:25.

Response: Father God, I admit my need for Jesus, my Savior. His love endures forever. Amen.

Your Turn: Why do we hide our sins rather than confess them? Does pride hold us back?