Wednesday, 5th August, 2020
Title: He has not Withheld His Love
Author: Pastor Wallace Ong
Psalm 66: 16 -20 (NIV)
16 Come and hear, all you who fear God; let me tell you what he has done for me. 17 I cried out to him with my mouth; his praise was on my tongue. 18 If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened; 19 but God has surely listened and has heard my prayer. 20 Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me!
The people of God are truly blessed. In our walk with God, as we ponder upon all the good things the Lord has done in our lives, shouldn’t our minds be led immediately to praise Him? King David, who wrote the psalms of thanksgiving and praise, loved to reminisce and recount many blessings God has bestowed upon his life and the lives of God’s people.
In Psalm 66, King David reminds us of how God loves and cares for His people though they were still sinners and rebellious against Him. He mentions about the time when Pharaoh and his Egyptian army were chasing the Israelites until they reached the Red Sea shores and had nowhere else to go. Exodus 14: 10 says, “When the Israelites saw the Pharaoh coming with his army, they were frightened and begged the LORD for help.” God heard their prayers and protected His people by causing a strong wind to part the sea and turned the sea into dry ground, so the Israelites could cross the sea on foot and escaped the capture. Then God caused the wind to cease blowing to allow the water to roll back against Pharaoh and his army pursuing behind the Israelites until all of them were drowned in the sea. David could relate, give thanks, and worship God because the Lord had also delivered him from the hands of his enemies despite the fact that he had committed many terrible sins.
King David defined for us the proper attitude one should have before God. In Psalm 66:18, he says: “If I had cherished sin in my heart, the LORD would not have listened.” God delays the answers of our prayers for many reasons; sin is the primary reason why our prayers are not answered. In Isaiah 1:15, the Bible says, “When you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide my eyes from you; even when you offer many prayers, I will not listen. Your hands are full of blood!”
God is holy, and when we approach Him, we must come before Him with clean hands and a pure heart. The Word of God makes it clear, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). We do not have that inherent goodness within us, but we can receive the holiness of Christ when we confess and repent of our sin and turn to God. Through Jesus, God sees the perfect righteousness of His one and only begotten son instead of our sins. Therefore, we need to confess and repent of our sins and be reconciled to God.
Dear Heavenly Father, We come to You with thanksgiving and gratefulness for what You have done in our lives. We bless Your name for listening to us when we pray. We want to start our day with praise, thanksgiving, and prayers, and set our hearts to keep Your commands and listen to Your voice. Thank You for guiding and helping us, O Lord, in order that we may live our lives in such a manner which will bring glory and honor to Your name! In the name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.