“Our ancestors in Egypt were not impressed by the LORD’s miraculous deeds. They soon forgot His many acts of kindness to them. Instead, they rebelled against Him at the Red Sea … Again and again He rescued them, but they chose to rebel against Him, and they were finally destroyed by their sin.” Psalm 106:7, 43 (NLT)
Psalm 106 reads like a summary of the Book of Judges that records Israel’s cycle of sin, judgment, repentance and rescue. Because we live in a broken world and we are broken, this painful cycle repeats itself in our lives as well when we forget God’s mighty acts of kindness and begin to live independent of Him. The Psalmist painfully describes what happens when we forget God’s goodness in our lives. It leads to rebellion against God; the sin of claiming my right to myself. In his classic devotional, My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers puts it like this, “The disposition of sin is not immorality and wrong-doing, but the disposition of self-realization – I am my own god … Sin is a fundamental relationship; it is not wrong doing, it is wrong being, deliberate and emphatic independence of God.” We inherited this disposition from Adam. Chambers goes on to add, “Sin is a thing I am born with and I cannot touch it; God touches sin in Redemption. In the Cross of Jesus Christ God redeemed the whole human race from the possibility of damnation through the heredity of sin. God nowhere holds a man responsible for having the heredity of sin. The condemnation is not that I am born with a heredity of sin, but if when I realize Jesus Christ came to deliver me from it, I refuse to let Him do so, from that moment I begin to get the seal of damnation.”
The good news is that God sent His Son into the world to redeem a world in rebellion. The bad news is that we chose to rebel against Him. That rebellion is self-destructive. For those who continue in rebellion, the Psalmist says, “… they were finally destroyed by their sin.” The New Testament puts it like this in Romans 6:23 (NLT), “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Have you received that free gift? How can we avoid the sin cycle that leads to death?
First, acknowledge that I have forgotten God’s kindnesses to me and have rebelled against Him. I have claimed my right to myself independent of God.
Second, turn from my right to myself and yield my life to Christ by receiving His free gift of eternal life.
Third, daily abide in His Word. Here’s a tip from the Psalmist in Psalm 119:11 (NLT), “I have hidden Your word in my heart, that I might not sin against You.” Daily doses of God’s Word offer a preventative for the sinful nature of rebellion that will constantly fight to take over again.