Unity with God; commands; temptation; disobedience; disunity; warning; judgment; never-ending love of God; repentance; and restoration.
Since then, the Word of God suggested two changes in comparing the moment of creation at the beginning of Genesis with fallen human condition: unity with God is the last step; and the never-ending love of God comes after repentance and restoration. Put another way, judgment leads directly to repentance.
In modern context, too, we must always remember that commands include those of Jesus, which I am now cataloging from the New Testament for presentation soon. Hint: there are many more commands of Jesus than you might think!
Recently we have learned that, since the Psalms are not historical narrative, they are more difficult to present in tidy tidbits each week. So we have been grouping them and looking for patterns. What emerges is how the Cycle repeats over and over in the Psalms with all elements of the Cycle replete throughout!
Read psalms 32 to 35 this week and watch for these Cycle milestones (listed in order of the Cycle as now understood, not chronologically by chapter and verse):
Command: “For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded and it stood firm” (33:9, ESV).
Temptation: “The king is not saved by his great army; a warrior is not delivered by his great strength. The war horse is a false hope for salvation, and by its great might, it cannot rescue” (33:16-17).
Disobedience: “For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long” (32:3).
Disunity: “But at my stumbling they rejoiced and gathered; they gathered together against me…” (35:15).
Warning: “Be not like a horse or a mule, without understanding, which must be curbed with bit and bridle, or it will not stay near you” (32:9).
Judgment: “The face of the Lord is against those who do evil, to cut off the memory of them from the earth” (34:16).
Repentance: “I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, ‘I will confess my transgression to the Lord,’…” (32:5).
Never-ending love of God: “Many are the sorrows of the wicked, but steadfast love surrounds the one who trusts in the Lord” (32:10).
Restoration: “Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit is not deceit” (32:1-2).
Unity with God: “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you” (32:8).
So is the Cycle a merry-go-round we can never get off? Do we receive restoration and unity with God only for a moment and then fail again? Yes, to some extent that defines the human condition.
But wait! Read Psalm 32:1-2 above about restoration once more. As believers in Jesus, our sins are forgiven and covered over with grace. Yet we continue to struggle with sin as long as we have a spirit of deceit.
The way to exit the sin-go-round is to look at the end of this verse once more: isn’t sinning really having a spirit of deceit – that is, don’t we try to fool God and everyone else around us and then plead for cheap grace?
Today is the day we can set a goal that one day will stop the Cycle of sin and perhaps even lead the church of Jesus closer to perfect unity. Pray with me right now:
Lord, create in me a spirit that has no deceit. I know this may take time, but each day, Lord, please point out my deceitful ways, humble me, and in your timing and grace, please restore me!