Wednesday, August 03, 2011

No cheap grace

“Psalm 25 highlights the role that sin and its remedy play in the prayer tradition of Israel. Here we see a confession of sin with the verbalization in v. 7 of 'the sins of my youth or my transgressions' and in v. 11 of 'my iniquity,' which is admittedly 'great.' There is a request for God to forget (v. 7) as well as to forgive sin (v. 11), and this request is carefully and relentlessly linked to the merciful character of Yahweh. But this is not cheap grace. Surrounding these requests is the expectation that this kind of forgiveness comes to those who have placed themselves under the loving and demanding mentorship of Yahweh. Psalm 1 at the outset of the Psalter 'directs the wise to the choice of the right road; Psalm 25 is a companion for use along the way' (Craigie 1983: 222). In this way, there is an admission of the challenge of remaining on the path laid out in Psalm 1: 'The essence of the road of the righteous is this: it is a road too difficult to walk without the companionship and friendship of God' (Craigie 1983: 222).”—A Severe Mercy, pages 417-418

<idle musing>
Amen! Good preaching! That is just as true now as it was in the days of the Psalmist.
</idle musing>

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