Happy are those whom you choose and bring near to live in your courts. We shall be satisfied with the goodness of your house, your holy temple.
Three things stand out in these two verses: the sinfulness of God's people, God's response, and our reaction.
- First, our iniquity, it seems, is not simply what we do, but what we get mixed up in—often without knowing it. "Deeds of iniquity overwhelm us." They are more than the sum of our actions, but are indeed part of the very condition in which we live, the very water we're drowning in.
- God's response, though, is twofold. First God forgives. And then God chooses. And it couldn't be more clear that God chooses based not on our merit, but simply based on grace.
- Finally, we move from where we were at the beginning—overwhelmed in a flood of sin that we seem unable to control—to being satisfied with the goodness of God that surrounds the chosen. Contentment, then, is a true mark of a child of God, reminding us, as the great 17th century Puritan minister Thomas Watson (pictured above) once said, that "the signs of salvation are in the saints, but the cause of salvation is in God."
I am overwhelmed by sin, Lord—my own sin, and the sin of the world from which I cannot insulate myself. Yet I thank you, that you do not find persons fit to be chosen, but through your grace, make the chosen fit to live in your house, content with your blessings and reaching out to the world, in Jesus' Name. Amen.