Psalm 106 : 19-23
19 They made a calf at Horeb
and worshipped a cast image.
20 They exchanged the glory of God
for the image of an ox that eats grass.
21 They forgot God, their Saviour,
who had done great things in Egypt,
22 wondrous works in the land of Ham,
and awesome deeds by the Red Sea.
23 Therefore he said he would destroy them—
had not Moses, his chosen one,
stood in the breach before him,
to turn away his wrath from destroying them.
There is an honesty in the reminiscing of the psalmist. Having declared God’s goodness he recounts a potted history of the ways in which the people have fallen short of being the people God was calling them to be.
There is an honest reminiscing of the many ways and various times when they had been impatient, complaining, rebellious and yet God saved them, time after time.
Within this reminiscing they, and we, are reminded of how Moses stood in the breach before God to plead on their behalf. Matthew Henry says of these verses:
“Often have we set up idols in our hearts, cleaved to some forbidden object; so that if a greater than Moses had not stood to turn away the anger of the Lord, we should have been destroyed.”
Remembering our sinful ways need not bring us to the place of utter despair, instead let us approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Let’s allow God’s steadfast love and unfailing mercy to carry us from despair to hope.
Holy God, you are compassionate and full of mercy.
You are patient and long suffering with your people. We are thankful that through your Son we may approach your throne of grace.
Search our hearts today, grant us wisdom to recognise our idolatrous ways, grant us courage to oust from our hearts all that would keep us from worshipping and serving you, so that our lives may bear witness to your holiness and your love. We pray for the sake of the kingdom of your dear Son, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen.