Meditation for Monday

If thou, Lord, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? Psalm 130:3

We had a teacher in high school who was a delight in the classroom. He was always well prepared to teach the lessons, and he did an excellent job of presenting the material in an interesting and engaging manner. As students, we were not bored, and looked forward to the lively discussions in that class. We learned the material he was teaching, and enjoyed doing so. But when it came time to write our exams, we encountered a major shock. This friendly and fun teacher demanded absolute perfection from us. Marks were lost for misspelled words or poor grammar. Marks were also lost if our wording fell short of the precision of the textbook. Some of the top students in the class came perilously close to failing, and those of us who were not top students were embarrassed at how badly we failed. But we had no excuses. The teacher carefully explained every mark deducted and gave reasons for every mark awarded. At that, he probably missed a few things. A God of perfect knowledge never misses anything, and, as our text indicates, none of us could ever pass a test that He gave.

The psalmist is aware of the impossibility of passing God’s exam. This acknowledgment is different from the attitudes of many of the people we know. They seem to think that their good deeds can outweigh their bad deeds and God will grant a passing grade. These people don’t know God’s standard or their own sinfulness. They are unaware that God knows everything about them, including the pathetic motives they have for doing what they think are their good deeds. They fail to grasp God’s requirements for absolute perfection, a standard that only one Person who ever walked earth’s sod could ever attain. As Christians, we know something of God’s requirements and our inability to attain them. That is why we appreciate the first word of this text.

The little word ‘if’ reminds us that God does not grade us according to our iniquities. If He did, none of us could stand. But God grades us on our response to His grace. The Lord Jesus passed the test for us. And because He passed the test, He was able to present His work to God, and that work has been accepted. How foolish we would be to offer God our own little efforts that must fail, when we can accept the work of One Who could not fail and did not fail.

We have today a perfect standing before God. This standing is not of ourselves, because we cannot obtain a passing grade. This standing is of the Lord Jesus, Who did always those things that pleased the Father. – Jim MacIntosh

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