7 O Israel, hope in the Lord!
For with the Lord there is steadfast love,
and with him is plentiful redemption.
8 And he will redeem Israel
from all his iniquities
We have great reason to hope. Regardless of what we wake up to, regardless of what our day will or will not bring, we are commanded to hope in the Lord. Our hope does not lie in trying harder or doing better. Our hope does not lie in creating the perfect atmosphere in which to thrive in or filling our lives with all the distracting perishable things of this world. Our hope is in the Lord, with whom “there is steadfast love, and plentiful redemption”.
When our battles in the flesh grow long and wearisome, we must fight with these verses. Our temptation will be to look despairing at the battle, rather than looking with hope to the Lord. And when our eyes get caught up with what they physically see, the steadfast love of the Lord becomes blurry. Our battles can either point us to the never-ending faithfulness of His love, or they can send us running in shame after the law with whom there is no steadfast love and with whom there is no plentiful redemption.
As often as his schedule allows, Jeff, my husband does the nighttime routine with our kids. After he reads the Bible and sings with them, he says to them, “There is nothing you could ever do that will make me stop loving you.” The steadfast love of the Lord humbles us. It brings us to our knees in worship. And it fills us with desire for a deep relationship Him.
The second reason we do not lose hope is found in verse 7. “For with the Lord there is “plentiful redemption” and in verse 8, that “he will redeem Israel from all his iniquities.” In verse three we read that if the Lord should count iniquities none should stand. But we have hope, because of Jesus. While the Old Testament sacrifice system was still in place for the Psalmist, he could look forward in faith, saying “And he will redeem Israel from all his iniquities.” John the Baptist, the last of the Old Testament prophets spoke these words to a people who were about to witness the Old Covenant pass away, and a New Covenant established, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29).
Our sin and its consequences must be dealt with. And if the Lord should count them, none of us could stand. But God provided a way by which we might be saved. God provided the sacrificial Lamb, His only beloved Son. Jesus, the Well-Pleasing Son, Jesus, the Son of Man, Jesus, the Son of God, Jesus, the Lamb of God. Though our battles may bring us into the depths, out of these very depths, our voices will cry out. Out of the depths, our pleas will be heard. Out of the depths, we wait in hope. Bulimics wait in hope. Those with eating disorders wait in hope. All those who are weary wait in hope. For with our God, there is steadfast love, and nothing we could ever do could ever make Him stop loving us. With the Lord, there is plentiful redemption because of Jesus Christ who takes away our sin and our shame. Our enemy will not shout “victory” over us. Jesus has already declared it over those who stand covered in his blood.
Our hope has come at no little cost. Let us cry out in hope, knowing that He hears our cries and pleas for mercy, knowing with Him there is forgiveness, knowing with Him there is steadfast love and plentiful redemption, knowing with Him there is redemption from all our iniquities. For when God sees us, He sees Jesus.